Philadelphia, PA asked in Employment Law for New York

Q: Can an employer offer severance to union employees while no offering anything to the nonunion employees?

Place of employment is closing at the end of this year. Rumor has it that the 11 nonunion employees aren't getting a severance package while the other 150 union employees are.

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2 Lawyer Answers
V. Jonas Urba
V. Jonas Urba
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Tarrytown, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: Employers in New York are not required to offer severance pay.

Unless you have a contract such as unions have there are no requirements.

You should recover unemployment benefits immediately. If the Union members are paid severance pay within 30 days of the last work or pay period they will have to wait until they no longer receive pay to recover unemployment (for example if the severance were equal to 3 months pay they would have to wait 3 months before collecting unemployment while you collect right away in most circumstances.)

James Francis Barna Esq
James Francis Barna Esq
Answered
  • Cazenovia, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: This is the power of a labor union. When an employer eliminates union jobs, the employer must negotiate the effects of the job elimination, and frequently awards severance. With nonunion employees, the employer does not need to provide severance. The employer is not required to treat union and nonunion employees similarly.

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