Introduction to Severance
More and more nowadays, as potential clients become more sophisticated in consuming news about legal issues, we get questions about the concept of severance. Sometimes, the word “severance” is linked to other words, the result being questions about severance pay, severance agreements and entitlement to severance. In this section, we’ll go through these concepts and talk about the law as it speaks to the issue of severance and as it relates to the employment rights work that we do here at Costello, Mains & Silverman, LLC
Before we get into detail, understand that as general principle, there is no legal entitlement to severance pay or any severance compensation under New Jersey Law. This is a general statement, meaning that there will always be exceptions.
For example, some companies, especially for mid and high level executives and managers, will voluntarily create severance programs, where they offer a guarantee of certain severance pay (based on longevity) as an inducement to talented people to stay employed. We’ll talk about those as well. Sometimes, further, there might be some entitlement to some sort of severance in a collective bargaining agreement or as a result of certain types of public employment (perhaps through the civil service office).
Again, however, these are exceptions to the general rule that when employment ends, no severance is required by law. Yet, severance is more and more discussed in connection with separation from employment. If the law doesn’t require it, then why is it becoming such a popular topic? What does it mean?
At Costello, Mains & Silverman, LLC, our New Jersey employment lawyers are dedicated to protecting the rights of workers. We can help you address your concerns about severance pay, including situations where “severance” is used by employers to avoid lawsuits. We can explain your rights concerning:
- Settlement of employment law claim disguised as “severance pay”
- Your rights under a specific severance agreement
- Severance programs and other loyalty initiatives
- Other issues tied to severance pay