Can a company keep changing the end date of employment for a worker when a company is shutting down?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can a company keep changing the end date of employment for a worker when a company is shutting down?

The company I work for told us that we would close on a certain date and that we would get a severance package. Then they changed my date to 2 months earlier; I signed an agreement to say that I would stay until then to get my severance pay. Is it legal to change it again and make us sign another package deal with no added severance? Do we have to sign another contract or can we just take our last contract and still get our severance package and leave on our last contract and date? We are not union.

Asked on February 6, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Indiana


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Unless the agreement that you signed or another agreement (such as an employment contract or union agreemnt) specifies when your end date is to be, it can be changed much as your company sees fit. This is because most employment is "at will" which means that a business can set the conditions of the workplace as it deems necessary. Further, severance packages are not legally mandated. This means that if an employer chooses to offer it, then it has a great deal of say over when and how, or even if, it is paid. 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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