By Amy E. Feldman
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – What is your right to severance if you are laid off?READ MORE: 30 Years Later, Search For Joy Hibbs' Killer Continues With New Reward Posted For Information
When the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe laid off 1500 employees, it gave them what’s been described as a ‘golden handshake’ – a handshake as they walked out the door with a check for $5000 each. Many who have been laid off in the United States were given a variation of the way less favorable variety: a hearty handshake, and an hour to collect their stuff and get out.READ MORE: 17 People Injured In Crash Involving SEPTA Bus After Car Runs Red Light, Officials Say
What is the law in the US on your right to severance if you were terminated through no fault of your own, and what can be done to negotiate a more favorable severance package.
Unless you have an employment contract or are party to a collective bargaining agreement, you are an employee at will. As an employee at will, there is no law that requires any severance pay – no matter how your performance or how long your service.MORE NEWS: Arrest Warrant Issued For Contractor Ronald Williams Accused Of Scamming At Least 10 People Using Nextdoor App
But, just because a company doesn’t have to offer severance doesn’t mean that they won’t or that they wouldn’t negotiate. You might ask if they would be willing to give severance in exchange for a waiver of all claims or tell them you’ll have trouble making ends meet to see if there’s more that they can give you than simply a handshake.