Company I'm working for is laying us off after a 60day notice. Their policy states they will award severance under the following guidelines:
In exchange for severance payment, the employee is required to sign and return to HR a Separation Agreement and Release of Claims.
HR told us ONLY those that sign will receive severance.
Employment / Labor Attorney
Yes. There is no legal requirement that a company provide severance pay under state or federal law. So, if the Company establishes a severance pay plan, it may require that participants execute a waiver of claims before receiving benefits. Courts will enforce these release agreements if the employer can show that the ex-employee signed voluntarily with the knowledge of what he signed. There are some special rules for waiving age discrimination claims under federal law, but those pertain to the formalities of the release and do not prohibit such release.