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Severance Pay..can they give to 1 employee but not another?

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  • Severance Pay..can they give to 1 employee but not another?

    I live in New York State.
    I was recently let go by my company. About a month ago, one of my coworkers was let go for making an error that cost the company a sizable amount of money. She and I were hired at the same time, and we had both been given raises and equivilant promotions at different times since then. I was let go last week, my word against someone else's who claimed that they gave an order to me and I never handled it. This isn't true, but also not the question at hand....I was NOT offered severance pay. Can they legally let 2 employees go and only give ONE of us severance pay? Or, as in California, are they required to treat employees "even-handedly" and therefore they must also pay ME 2 weeks severance as well?

  • #2
    Can they legally let 2 employees go and only give ONE of us severance pay? Yes.

    Or, as in California, are they required to treat employees "even-handedly" and therefore they must also pay ME 2 weeks severance as well? Even in California, employers aren't obligated to give one employee severance pay because they did so to another. For one thing, the two of you weren't fired for the same reason. That alone could explain why severance has been handled differently.

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    • #3
      True, I allegedy lost a piece of paper with a value of about $200 profit which only affected one customer as an inconvenience...and was quickly remedied. My former coworker cost the company thousands, an error that affects the entire client base and took 8 weeks to fix. I honestly have no recourse?
      Where do I look in the Labor Laws to investigate something like this? I had no idea where to look.

      Thank you for the response, I appreciate that!

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      • #4
        There are no laws that say an employer must provide severance pay. Just like there are no laws that prohibit the employer from offering severance pay. Severance is not an issue addressed by state or federal wage and hour regulations, period.
        I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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        • #5
          Thanks for the reply, Pattymd..I know they are under no obligation to provide severance pay..I only wondered if they could provide to one employee and then NOT to another. It's a matter of treating all your employees equally. You can't, for example, offer dental health coverage to some employees and not to others. They are not required to offer Dental care plans, either. But, if you give to some, shouldn't you be required to give to all? All employees SHOULD be entitiled to equal treatment.

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          • #6
            Well, actually, you can. You can offer certain benefits to certain classes of employees and not to other classes. Health plans are subject to more stringent discrimination laws because they are regulated under ERISA. Severance plans are not. That's the difference.
            Last edited by Pattymd; 10-06-2005, 12:28 PM.
            I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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            • #7
              Yes, they can give severance to one employee and not to another. You were not terminated for the same reason; therefore they do not have to treat you the same.

              The answer isn't going to change no matter how long you explain how unfair it is.
              The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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