Pushing for an appropriate severance package could be a major part of your employment contract negotiations. You know you will need time to secure another job in the same industry or with a similar title, and you will need income for that transitional period.
You may also have family members who depend on you to provide them with benefits, so ensuring that you have health, vision and dental coverage until you find a new job is also important. Offering an appropriate severance package as a form of security can help businesses attract the best talent for competitive positions like engineering or executive roles.
You will likely depend on your severance package to support yourself and your family if you unexpectedly lose your job. When could your employer deny you the severance package you agreed on in your contract?
When you voluntarily quit
Unless you use language to the contrary, possibly for cases involving retirement after a specific number of years of employment, choosing to leave the company will not result in a severance package.
If you quit to pursue another job elsewhere, the company can deny you the severance package they promised when you signed your contract.
When the company terminates you for cause
New York is an at-will state, so the company can fire you for any reason that isn’t illegal. Most of the time, a sudden termination will trigger the severance package clause of your employment contract.
If your employer alleges that you engaged in significant misconduct during your employment, they might deny you severance after firing you for a cause. However, some businesses may create a questionable chain of write-ups or disciplinary actions to cover a wrongful termination and the decision to deny a worker their severance benefits.
Understanding when you can fight back for your severance package can help you handle a difficult employment transition with minimal losses.