Severance Pay Termination

News & Analysis as of

Changes to tax treatment of termination payments

The UK Government has announced changes to the tax treatment of termination payments following the conclusion of its recent consultation. Draft legislation has now been published which will come into force in April 2018....more

How should employers deal with pensions in a severance package?

HR professionals often ask us how to deal with pension issues when they structure severance packages for non-union employees. Should employees continue to earn pension benefits after termination of employment?  If so, for how...more

Mass Terminations—What Ontario Employers Need to Think About When Restructuring or Reducing Their Workforces

When discharging employees, it pays to be prepared. This is especially so when an employer is considering a large-scale restructuring....more

A Quick Guide to the Taxation of Retiring Allowances

When an employee’s employment is terminated without cause, the employee will typically receive some form of a termination/severance payment. All or part of this termination/severance payment may be considered a “retiring...more

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

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

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

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

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

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

IRS Announces That It Will No Longer Refund FICA Taxes on Severance Payments

The IRS recently announced that severance payments are taxable wages under FICA, and thus employers who seek tax refunds on those payments will be denied. The IRS’s position reflects the United States Supreme Court’s ruling...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

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

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

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

Severance Payments to Terminated Employees are Taxable Wages under FICA

The Supreme Court recently held that severance payments made to involuntarily terminated employees constituted “remuneration for employment,” for which taxes must be withheld and paid under the Federal Insurance Contributions...more

High Court Rules Some Severance Payments Are Taxable

Yesterday, the Supreme Court of the United States held that severance payments are taxable under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) when made to employees whose employment is involuntarily terminated. The Court...more

Be Sure to File a Protective Claim for FICA Taxes

The Supreme Court has agreed to review the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals decision in United States v. Quality Stores which held that severance payments to involuntarily terminated employees were supplemental unemployment...more

Supreme Court to Decide Whether RIF-Related Severance Pay Is Subject to FICA

Although some would argue that the next U.S. Supreme Court term is not shaping up to be as monumental as the last term, employers should have their eye on the recent decision of the Court to hear United States v. Quality...more

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