What canIdo if I have not received my severance package?

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What canIdo if I have not received my severance package?

My former employer terminated my employment on the 17th of last month. One term of the separation agreement was severance compensation to be paid within 10 days of my executing the agreement. I signed a copy on the 18th and mailed it to the HR department, who would have received it by the 20th. Now 12 business days have passed and I still have not received the severance compensation. What actions can I take?

Asked on February 7, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You have two options:

1) You can sue to enforce the severance agreement--that is, you'd take the employer to court for the money you are owed.

2) If the employer doesn't pay you, it has breached the agreement in a material (important) way--which potentially lets you out of your obligations. Thus, if you gave up the right to sue for, say, discrimination but believe you might have a case, you could now sue. Or if the seperation agreement contained a non-competition or non-solicitation clause, your employer's breach could let you out of that restriction.

Obviously, litigation is a drastic option. Letting your former employer know that you will take legal action if necessary to vindicate your rights, but giving them a chance to comply with the agreement before doing so, is usually a good idea.


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