What can I do about not wanting to stay at my job when others are being laid off because I’d like to accept the severance package?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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What can I do about not wanting to stay at my job when others are being laid off because I’d like to accept the severance package?

My department was laid off but they are keeping some people. I was one of them the issue is that I was planning to move out of state around that time. Now the dilemma is that if I refuse to stay in will not get a severance package like others laid off. The only reason of refusal would be because I’m moving out of state but they are considering it as rejecting the position therefore I can’t be considered laid off. I thought I would have a choice of choosing to keep

working or be laid off. Is there anything I can do to be considered laid off and qualify for the severance package they offered everyone else?

Asked on April 5, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

No, unfortunately there is nothing you can do. Severance is not required by law--it is up to the free choice of the employer--so they can set rules on it, such as who is eligible for it or not. They can also freely decide who is going to be laid off or retained, and and if an employer whom the employer wanted to retained leaves work, they can consider that he or she resigned. In short, this is all your employer's choice, not yours, and if you don't qualify for severance under the rules they put in place, you won't get severance.

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