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Settlement & Termination California

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  • Settlement & Termination California

    Last year one of our California employees was regrettably injured on the job. The case has progressed and it has been determined that he is permanently disabled to the point he can no longer work in his original capacity.

    A settlement on the WC claim has been reached and finalized.

    What do we do about his employemnt status? He can no longer work in his original job, and has declined a less physical position at the same office. (similar pay and status). Further, he has since moved to a state in which we have no operations.

    Do I have to terminate the employee and pay the substantial severence package the company offers by defult? Or does the WC settlement assume the end of his employment?

    Would the answer change if he had not moved?

    Any guidance is appreciated. We want to be fair, but it has to be fair to everyone.

  • #2
    Severance pay is not a legal construct.

    It is company policy and does not have to be paid.
    Not everything that makes you mad, sad or uncomfortable is legally actionable.

    I am not now nor ever was an attorney.

    Any statements I make are based purely upon my personal experiences and research which may or may not be accurate in a court of law.


    • #3
      Was it a C & R settlement or just a PPD award? If it was the former, I would look at whether or not it had a resignation clause. It would be highly unusual for it not to especially in these circumstances.

      If the employee moved out of state and you don't have jobs where he moved then yes, I'd consider it a resignation just as for any other employee who did the same. Whether severance is owed depends on your policy. If you would otherwise pay it for an employee who voluntarily moved away and the settlement from WC does not address this is any way, pay it now too.
      I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.