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Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 20232
Experience:  Licensed Attorney with 29 yrs. exp in Employment Law
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when discussing a severance package with an employer that just

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when discussing a severance package with an employer that just laid you off, should you include the compensation you feel you should earn based on the bonuses you have received? For example: I note that a significant amount of SenseCorp compensation is provided as an end-of-year bonus. For the year 2012, the amount of bonus compensation that I received was $7500. Given that I have worked for "ABC Company" for the first full 6 months of 2013, I request an amount equal to one half of the 2012 bonus be included in the severance agreement.

Thank you for the information and your question. Since there is no Texas or Federal law that requires that an employer offer any severance pay, the payment of severance is at the discretion of the employer. This assumes that they do not have a written policy or contract that guarantees severance, or a certain amount of severance. Assuming that they do not, then an employee is free to attempt to negotiate whatever they believe is reasonable payment. So, in this case, if the employer does not have a duty to pay out a bonus to employees who leave before the end of the year, then you could still try to negotiate that they pay you a prorata amount of what they would have paid you should you finish the year with them.

Just as an aside, most employers generally offer anywhere from one week pay for every year worked up to one months pay for every year worked. That is just something to weigh your offer by. You will want to make sure though that you are clear on exactly what you will and won't be paid before you decide to sign the agreement.

Please let me know if you need any clarification. I would be glad to assist you further if I can.
Marsha411JD and 5 other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Hello again,

I wanted to touch base with you and make sure that you did not have any follow up questions for me from the legal answer I provided to you on the 15th. The Site has been a little buggy lately so the Experts are not always getting replies or ratings (which is how an Expert receives credit for their work) that the customer thinks have gone through. In your case I received neither. If you are having technical difficulties with reading, replying or rating, please let me know so that I can inform the Site administrator.

In any event, it was a pleasure assisting you and I would be glad to attempt to assist you further on this issue, or a new legal issue, if needed. You can bookmark my page at:

Thank you.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Yes, looks like my reply was never received!! :( Thank you for your answer, I didn't know if you worked offline too, I'm wanting a couple questions answered regarding the actual contract too as well as help with my reply. I would like to discuss that with you offline if you can? Please let me know...thanks! :)



Hello again Angela and I am not sure what happened with your reply. As I mentioned, the Site has been a little buggy so we don't always receive replies when you send them. Not good, but as a User of this Site like you, kind of what we have to deal with.

Unfortunately, because of the agreement the Experts signed with the Site, we are not allowed to engage in outside assistance to our customers. So, I would not be able to review your contract since that would require an attorney-client relationship, which we cannot form via this forum.

As always though if you have some questions in general that I didn't already address, please feel free to ask those.