Severance Pay

News & Analysis as of

Don't Let the OWBPA Put a Rift in Your RIF

Are you considering a reduction in force (RIF) that includes a severance package for employees? Are some of the employees included in the RIF over the age of 40? Before you take another step, make sure you know the...more

EEOC’s Tough Stance on Employee Separation Agreements

Employers like separation agreements. Separation agreements, of course, are contracts that employees sign when their employment is terminated that allows them to be paid severance and in exchange they usually give up the...more

How to Structure an Employee Severance Package Regarding COBRA and the ACA

Often, when parting ways with an employee, an employer may offer to pay for some months of COBRA continuation coverage so that the employee can remain covered without having to pay the substantial premiums associated with...more

Let’s Shake On It: Texas Case Exemplifies the Perils of Adopting a Company-Wide Practice of Oral Agreements

An opinion out of the Fourteenth Court of Appeals demonstrates why employers need to be weary of developing a practice of oral agreements in regards to compensation upon which at-will employees may detrimentally rely. The...more

A Review of the Supreme Court’s 2013-2014 Term

The United States Supreme Court concluded its 2013-2014 term by issuing decisions in several highly publicized employment and employee benefits cases during the Court’s final scheduled sessions, including Noel Canning,...more

How to Avoid Being the Next Casualty in the EEOC’s War on Employee Separation Agreements

In its current Strategic Enforcement Plan, the U. S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission says that it is fed up with and will target employer “policies and practices that discourage or prohibit individuals from exercising...more

Perspectives - Fall 2012 Volume 3, Edition 2: An Executive Compensation, Benefits & Human Resources Law Update

In this Issue: - Don’t “Moench”ion It: Supreme Court Rejects Presumption of Prudence for ESOP Fiduciaries - Avoiding Claims of Excessive Fund Fees - Risk of ERISA Class Actions Can Be Reduced by Use of...more

Recent Ontario Decision Casts Doubt on Statutory Severance Pay Threshold

In Ontario, employees are entitled to notice of termination or pay in lieu of notice of termination in accordance with the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (the “ESA”). In addition, employees with five years of service or more...more

Severance Payments to Terminated Employees are Taxable Wages

Employers must treat severance payments to involuntarily terminated employees as wages. In an 8-0 opinion, the Supreme Court held that such payments are “remuneration for employment” for which taxes much be withheld and paid...more

Severance Agreements: The New Lightning Rod

Remember 2010? Not that long ago, yet as of that year, employers could rest pretty comfortably at night knowing that their garden-variety workplace rules would instill peace and control at the plant, store, or office, not...more

Employment Flash (June 2014)

In This Issue: - NLRB Recess Appointments Unconstitutional - SEC Brings First-Ever Employment Retaliation Claim - EEOC Challenges Employer Severance Agreements - New York State Transportation Industry...more

In Quality Stores, the Supreme Court Holds that Severance Payments are Taxable FICA Wages

On March 25, 2014, the Supreme Court ruled 8-0 in favor of the government in the long-running Quality Stores litigation, holding that severance payments are taxable FICA wages, even if they fall within the category of...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - June 2014

Editor's Overview - In this month's issue, our authors address severance benefit claims and ERISA disclosure requirements. In our first article, Joe Clark addresses whether a plan administrator should conduct an...more

What Everyone Needs to Know About the Coordination of Severance Benefits, COBRA, and the ACA

In a common occurrence throughout corporate America, an employee terminates employment and as a result will lose company-provided health care coverage. To obtain health care coverage, the employee has two options: 1) elect...more

U.S. District Court Upholds FDIC’s Golden Parachute Decision

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri (the “District Court”) issued a memorandum and order (the “Order”) in which the District Court upheld a decision of the FDIC that contract damages sought by the...more

Be Global - May 2014

HIGHLIGHTS: France: Finding a buyer before a shut down - the "Florange" law - As reported in February's Be Global, the French Government has introduced legislation (known as the "Florange" law) imposing an obligation...more

Avoiding a Severance Agreement Trap

This is a true and cautionary tale and one that can be readily avoided. You have finally completed negotiations with a problem employee you have wanted to get rid of and a severance agreement has been signed. The terms are...more

View From Proskauer: Investigating and Deciding Severance Benefits Claims

Plan administrators charged with administering Employee Retirement Income Security Act-governed severance plans are often confronted with the question of whether they should conduct an independent investigation into the...more

California Employment Law Notes - May 2014

Male Employee's Sexual Harassment Claims Should Not Have Been Dismissed - Lewis v. City of Benecia, 224 Cal. App. 4th 1519 (2014). Brian Lewis, a heterosexual man, sued his former employer (the City of Benecia)...more

Business Court Dismisses Derivative Action Against Duke Energy

You might remember the derivative action filed against the board of directors of Duke Energy Corporation stemming from its 2012 merger with Progress Energy. It received a lot of publicity. The merger was concluded long ago,...more

Enforcing Oral Contracts: The Presumption is Against You

Oral contracts are often difficult to enforce because the facts are contested or remembered differently. The age-old admonition to “get it in writing” is as valid today as in the days of scriveners with quill pens. David...more

Employee Benefits Developments - April 2014

Supreme Court Holds Severance Payments Are Subject to FICA Taxes - Reversing a decision by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously that severance payments to employees who were...more

Debates Continue on Pennsylvania and Ohio Severance Tax Proposals

Pennsylvania legislators continue to debate a severance tax proposal announced late last year, and previously discussed on this blog. Under that severance tax proposal, the commonwealth’s system of impact fees would be...more

Act Now Advisory: Changes to New York State's Unemployment Insurance Laws May Affect Employers' Severance Procedures and How...

In response to a federal mandate requiring states to restructure their unemployment insurance ("UI") laws to reduce government spending on UI benefits, New York State has amended its law in a way that may cause New York...more

Supreme Court Confirms FICA Taxes Must be Withheld from Severance Payments

Finding severance payments to be a form of “remuneration for employment,” the United States Supreme Court in United States v. Quality Stores, Inc. held that such payments are taxable wages – and thus subject to withholding –...more

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