;">Often times when employees are given severance payments from an employer they feel, they are entitled to more and maybe it has been based on the fact that you worked for the company for a very lengthy period of time, it’s not unusual for employees to work for companies for fifteen, twenty, twenty five years or more, to receive a severance package and then they contact me and say, you know after twenty years of service you think they would be treating me better or differently. There are also other things that come into play, there are often times issues with bonuses or commissions that have been earned and not yet paid and whether you are entitled to those. There are often times with stock options and whether they are vested and a lot of times there are issues with how much accrued time you have and you want to receive a lump sum payment for all that vacation time you weren't able to use over twenty or twenty five years because your employer kept you so busy that you couldn't take your vacation time and when you visit an attorney in Westchester County to speak with them about your severance package certainly at Gould and Berg in White Plains Plain, NY we look at all facets of your employment package, of the terms and conditions of your employment and of the benefits. There is a well rounded perspective that needs to be examined in order to determine whether there are things that can be negotiated to give you an advance package. A lot of times employers issue severance packages that are standard and they may be based on years of service or they may be based on past practice and some of them may cap out after a certain number of weeks or months of severance pay. Often times there are situations where that’s not the case and employers are more often willing to negotiate the package in a way that will make you feel you are leaving and parting the company on positive terms, going forward not only on their side but for yours.
xt-align: justify;">When an employee is severed from the work place from a position of employment, there is no entitlement to severance. Typically, a notice will be given but a lot of times it’s not and there is no legal requirement that a notice needs to be given to an employee when they are being terminated. Particularly, in situations where terminations are for cause often times the employees are not given any notice and the termination becomes effective immediately. Depending on your situation you may have the ability to collect a severance pay, and this could be in the form of cashing out vacations that have been accrued, it could be in the form of an additional lump sum or payroll type, a payment going over the course of the next several weeks, months, whatever the employer agrees to and it could also include things like benefits. Benefits are important these days with the rising costs of health insurance and health care and often times employees who are terminated find themselves in positions where they cannot afford to continue with the health insurance even through the COBRA provisions, so often times if a severance package is offered, we try to include and lobby for a well rounded package for the employee so that things can be covered going forward and gives you a enough time to get back on your feet and figure out what your next steps are.
In New York State and also under federal law through most states of the country, we operate on At-will employment basis. What that means is that you are employed at the will of the employer; the employer has all the digression in determining the length of your employment. The employer can terminate you for any reason or no reason and does not have to give a reason for termination, unless, of course there are protections under law that you might have because of being a civil servant or because you have an employment contract or some sort of a union contract or collective bargaining experience that would provide you with certain rights in your position. When you come to see us, we need to evaluate whether you are a true At-will employee or whether you have certain protections under the law that can help you going forward in terms of maintaining job security.