May 18, 2007,
N.S. asks from Dallas, TX on May 15, 2007
Just Got Laid Off - Dallas,TX
Ijust got laid off and my former employer offered to pay me until the end of the month but they never offered severence pay. I just learned that I will have to sign a release form for the pay they will give me until the end of the month (that is just one more paycheck). My question is am I entitled to severence pay? (I worked there fulltime for 2 years and almost 9 months), should I ask them for severence pay?, why didnt they offer it to me? how do I apply for it?, would I be better off financially waiting it out for severence pay rather than taking this last check? Any info/help would be appreciated. I am meeting with her on Thursday.
1 mom found this helpful
L.F. answers from Dallas on May 18, 2007
I am so sorry to hear about this. I was laid off in Dec. of 2005 after being with the company for 8 years so I know how you feel.
The other folks have given great advice, so I won't repeat what was already said, however I do want to let you know that you do not have to go to the Unemployment office to file for your benefits. You can do everything online now at this website:
M.F. answers from Dallas on May 15, 2007
Severance is up to the employer, but be sure you file for unemployment benefits right away.
I would read whatever form they are talking about VERY carefully, and be sure you get a copy of it.
As far as insurance, they should offer COBRA, but it's rather expensive. You might look into medicaid, which is free.
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M. answers from Dallas on May 15, 2007
Hey there. I'm really sorry to hear that you were laid off. I did want to let you know, though, that under state and federal employment laws, companies don't have to pay severance pay. It is up to them. Most companies don't...just the really nice ones do. However, they are offering to pay you through the end of the month...that is basically your severance pay. Now...what you want to do is make sure with the unemployment agency...that if you sign the form (that I'm sure releases them from something...read that form carefully)...and if you accept the one paycheck severance that you will still be eligible to receive unemployment money while you look for a new job. Usually you are able to...just make sure that that form says that they want you to sign and call the texas workforce commission to explain what happened...explain that they offered you a two week pay severance package and you want to make sure you are still able to collect unemployment. You should be able to after this next pay period (since the severance was only two weeks). But, no...don't try to hold out for anything...they are giving you a severance when they really don't have to. I hope that helps!!!
L. answers from Dallas on May 15, 2007
No, you are not entitled to severance pay. That is a "gift" they can offer. But it is not a requirement, especially since Texas is an "At Will" state.
I was laid off in 2005 when I was 6 months pregnant (and single). I did receive severance pay and I also received unemployment insurance. No one wants to hire a 6 month pregnant person only to go on maternity leave soon after! I had offers, but once they found out I was pregnant, it was out the door!! Luckily, I survived on my savings and the unemployment -- which is not much.
Maximum benefit is $320-330/week.
G.B. answers from Dallas on May 15, 2007
So when is your actual last day of work? If it was last week or this week and he has offered to pay you till the end of the month, honey that is your severance pay.
Unfortunately, Texas is an "at will" type of employer/employee state and any company can hire or terminate anyone for any reason pretty much. It is extremely hard to prove otherwise. Your employer is NOT REQUIRED to pay anyone severance pay, they normally do, but not always. That last paycheck that you will be getting (if you didn't work for it) is your severance pay. When you hear of someone getting huge severance packages, those are the upper management folks who worked there 15 + years at companies and sometimes it is really not that much.
Be sure and read the form they want you to sign carefully and request a copy of it, so that you can take that with you to the TEC office. The one thing you need to be concerned about is insurance if you have had it through them. If you have been paying for it and it has been withdrawn from your check, then they must offer you COBRA. Which is a govenmentment appointed type of insurance. If you want to know more about that aspect of it, email me at ____@____.com or google it and you can find tons of info about it.
Otherwise, you will have to go the nearest TEC (TEXAS EMPLOYMENT COMMISSION) office and apply for unemployment benefits while you are out of work. This is a very small amount of money that you received from insurance that your company has paid into the government for you and (usually about $150.00 or less) a week based on what you made in your current job. It normally takes up to 3 weeks or more to get the claim processed and get it going, so you will need to do something else if you are depending on that money. You will get paid semi-monthly, so it does take a while to get it going.
Hope everything works out for you and good Luck!