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My company is in violation of not paying my severance within the agreed upon time in my separation agreement. What can I do?

Memphis, TN |

I filed for unemployment (contract states that is permissible) and per the advice of their outplacement service, let my circle of friends in social media know I was outsourced and looking for work as a means of networking. I made no mention of the company name, said nothing derogatory, nor did I disclose any terms of the separation agreement. Could any of this be used against me?

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Attorney answers 2


Did the company indicate that they are refusing to pay your severance because you filed for unemployment, etc.? I am trying to understand how the question is linked to the facts you then put in the body of your post. Next question -- how overdue are they? And have they paid others (assuming others were laid off/outsourced).

This answer does not constitute legal advice nor form an attorney client relationship. I am not your lawyer. If you have a legal issue in Maryland, Virginia, or the District of Columbia, you may contact me for a free consultation.



I was laid off for "lack of work" and filed unemployment immediately thereafter. Per the separation agreement, the company had 15 business days from 04/01/13 to pay the severance and have yet to do so. I'm not sure if others received theirs or not as I have not seen or spoken to them since the layoff. I guess my question is....can they breach my separation agreement by not paying the severance due to my filing unemployment or making a comment in social media that I was outsourced and looking for other opportunities? Thanks!

Daniel Sage Ward

Daniel Sage Ward


I can't comment without seeing the separation agreement. If there is a confidentiality provision there may be an issue. One possible route would be to call the HR department at your former employer, inform them that you have not received your agreed-upon severance payment, and see what they say.


If your former employer entered into a severance agreement with you whereby they agreed to pay you a certain amount of money, and they are failing to live up to their end of the bargain, then your former employer can be sued for breach of contract. The amount of damages will most likely be governed by the terms of the contract. With that said, it is impossible to answer specific questions about whether you have done anything that could be used against you without reading the terms of the contract that you and a representative from your former employer signed. My advice would be to schedule a time with a local employment law attorney to review the contract and then answer any questions that you may have. He or she should also be able to outline what your options are going forward based upon this consultation.

Best of Luck!

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