Severance Pay

News & Analysis as of

Surviving the Strife: How Start-Up Founders Can Ensure That Inevitable Friction and Departures Won't Sink the Company

History is all too often repeated when start-up founders fail to plan for when (not if) they don’t see eye-to-eye. Relationship breakdowns and messy founder departures are common root causes of start-up failures. Common...more

What GCs Need to Know About Reductions in Force

Reductions in force (“RIFs”) are group terminations, usually driven by the financial condition or business needs of the employer. An employer’s General Counsel, even though responsible for protecting the employer from legal...more

Fixed-term Employment Agreements: Draft Them Carefully

Employers often use fixed-term employment agreements to limit their future severance costs owed to employees. Although that may be an effective approach in theory, the Ontario Court of Appeal’s recent decision in Howard v....more

What About A Settlement Agreement? / Et Si On Transigeait?

In light of the inevitable uncertainty as to the outcome of judicial proceedings, and considering recent court decisions which have tended to significantly increase the compensation granted for material and moral damages to...more

Dependent Contractors Awarded 26 Months’ Reasonable Notice

Dependent contractors are becoming an increasing portion of the working population, and an Ontario court recently confirmed that protections available to them are at the top end of the scale. In the case of Keenan v....more

How to Fire Your Employee Without Getting Sued

Before I even begin this post, let me advance the disclaimer right off the bat: Despite the title of this post, there is no sure-fire way to fire an employee without getting sued. Indeed, the title is a bit of a...more

SJC Finds that Employee’s Unauthorized Copying of Proprietary Information Did Not Give Employer Grounds to Discontinue Severance

On February 4, 2016, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) held in Eventmonitor, Inc. v. Leness that an employer breached its agreement with a former employee when it reclassified the employee’s termination from...more

Employee Separation Agreements – A Refresher

There is one conversation I have with my clients who are employers more frequently than any other. It’s the one that begins, “We’ve decided to let so-and-so go. Do we have to have an agreement of some kind?” Here is what you...more

Severance Payments May be Recoverable in a Company’s Bankruptcy

Working for the Queen of Hearts is a tough gig. A disappointing quarter and she’s quick to the chopping block. And the ‘severance’ she offers – “Off with their heads!” – no thanks....more

The Employment Law Authority - September/October 2015

On October 16, 2015, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) concerning new rules for extending the Optional Practical Training (OPT) program for international students...more

Determining Reasonable Notice: Is Character of Employment a Less Important Factor?

As an employer, when terminating an employee without just cause, it is important to have some sense of the reasonable notice period a court might award in the circumstances in order to prepare an appropriate severance offer....more

South Carolina Supreme Court Finds Employee Cannot Sue for Breach of Contract and Wrongful Discharge

As with most states, South Carolina recognizes an exception to its general employment at-will doctrine. Employers may terminate employees with or without cause, but not for any reason that violates the state’s public policy....more

Massive Terminations: A 2015 Key Issue for China Labor

“Massive terminations” occur in China when an employer terminates more than 20 employees or more than 10 percent of its total employees at one time. Even though there are no official statistics on massive terminations of...more

EBA reports on union-level remuneration

EBA has published a report combining the benchmarking of remuneration practices across the EU with aggregated data on the remuneration of EU institutions’ staff who received one million euro or more in 2013. The analysis...more

9th Circuit: Because of Simple Contract Oversight, Executive Must Arbitrate Separation Dispute

Most executive level employees have detailed employment agreements outlining the terms and conditions of their high-paying jobs. Putting such agreements in place is a really good idea for a number of reasons, even though it...more

At Will? What’s That?

Did you know that employees in most countries outside the United States have a contractual right to continued employment, whether or not they have written contract? If an employer does not provide an employee with a written...more

Getting Releases Right

There are times when it makes sense to resolve an actual or potential employment law claim by paying something and getting a release from the employee. Paying severance in return for a release and waiver of claims isn’t...more

Separately Assessing Separation Agreements

Separation or severance agreements —which typically provide a terminating employee with some kind of cash payment, temporary salary continuation, or other gratuitous benefit in exchange for a release of claims — have their...more

Macron Law: its major changes

The law for growth, activity and equal opportunities, known as “Macron Law” (hereafter referred as “the Law”) has been approved on 6 August, 2015. From the reform of the procedure before employment tribunals to the...more

Can Arbitrators Rule On Their Own Jurisdiction? The Ninth Circuit Answers Yes

In Brennan v. Opus Bank (9th Cir. 13-35580), published August 11, 2015, the Ninth Circuit ruled on the issue of whether a court versus an arbitrator has jurisdiction over determining the enforceability of a mandatory...more

N.C. Court of Appeals Addresses Public Records, Closed Session and "Personnel Matters"

In The Times News Publishing Co. v. The Alamance-Burlington Bd. of Education, No. COA15-99 (July 21, 2015), the Court of Appeals considered the intersection between the State's Open Meetings Laws (N.C.G.S. 143-318.9, et seq.)...more

Brazil: Amid Great Recession, Government Issues Executive Order to Stave Off Unemployment and Reduce Labor Costs

On July 6, 2015, the Brazilian government issued an Executive Order (MP 680/15 and Decree 8.479/15) called Program to Protect the Employment (“PPE”) to slow down the rise of unemployment and the deepening of the recession. ...more

Canada Labour Code Does not Grant Non-Unionized Employees a "Right to the Job"

In Wilson v. Atomic Energy of Canada Limited, 2015 FCA 17 ("Wilson"), the Federal Court of Appeal (FCA) made a game-changing decision when they unanimously found that without-cause dismissals of non-unionized employees are...more

Be Global - June 2015

Whistleblowing: An employer's guide to global compliance - As the global push to combat corruption in government, politics, civil society and business gathers pace, whistleblowing continues to be a topic of ever...more

Pasadena Community College Ex-President’s $400,000 Severance Package Nullified Due to Brown Act Violations

A nearly $400,000 severance deal struck between Pasadena Community College and its former president was nullified by a judge after determining that the deal was improperly discussed and finalized in closed session. A Los...more

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