is it legal for my boss it give her 5 employees one day notice that the business is closing, when a month previously said we’d have at least a week.

UPDATED: May 29, 2009

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is it legal for my boss it give her 5 employees one day notice that the business is closing, when a month previously said we’d have at least a week.

my boss pulled my 2 managers aside and told them she was selling out and dont tell the other employees i will give you all a weeks notice that were shutting down, she comes into work yesterday and pulls my manager from up front to tell him we close for good sunday, the new bosses who bought the buisness is gonna re-open in one month. am i eliliglbe for severance pay? is it legal for her to give us just one day notice? is she obligated to give us our last paycheck ahead of time? is this a lawsuit?

Asked on May 29, 2009 under Employment Labor Law, Rhode Island


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 13 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, the news for you is almost certainly bad. Unless you had an employment contract specifying notice and/or severance, or unless more more than 50 employees were being laid off at once, which would trigger certain legal obligations, then no, your boss has no obligation to give you notice or pay severance. She also is not obligated to pay your last paycheck ahead of time--it's customary to do so, but not required.

If you had acrued vacation days that your company would pay people for in the past when they left or were laid off, the company will need to pay you out for those. If you had health care, they'll also need to fulfill their obligations under COBRA so you can continue health care (if you want, and are able to pay). But that's about the extent of their obligations.

There is no lawsuit here, unless your bossses actions were somehow discriminatory. For example, if all female employees were let go but male employees retained, there might be a case for gender discrimination. However, that does not sound like the situation here, not if everyone is being let go.

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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