I was offered severance to sign a release / waiver. I countered them asking for a larger amount and never heard back. Since there was no response to the counter, I signed the release later, assuming the original offer was still on the table. It's been nearly a month and after several emails to HR inquiring what the status is, I've yet to have any communication returned nor any money received. Is the contract I signed now void or could it be enforceable? Do I have legal recourse to file against them for the severance pay?
You do not have a "legal recourse" because you countered the original offer, which means the offer was no longer open for acceptance. Instead, you made a counter-offer, which they did not accept, or have not as yet done so. You may renew your offer and try to negotiate.
One of two things has happened:
1) As already pointed out, by making a counteroffer, the original severance offer was rejected and no longer on the table. You may get nothing.
2) By signing the offer, IF THE COMPANY WANTS TO (see #1) , you accepted their offer and are bound by it.
Answers provided are general in nature and usually based on Virginia law. If I answer something posted from another state I'm probably out on a limb. Reliance on any answer posted here is at the sole risk and responsibility of the user, and in no way creates or implies an attorney client relationship with the author, his firm, staff, family or even his dog. And isn't it silly that we have to cover our *(&%$ with disclaimers in case some fool wants to blame me when they screw up? Reading any answer means you agree with the above.
As others have pointed out, by "countering" you may have rejected the offer and made a new offer that was not accepted.
That might not be the end of the evaluation, however. If they state that your counter was a rejection of their offer, it may be relevant whether their offer was in writing and your "counter" was oral (as the case may be) and then by signing the release, you performed the action to accept their offer.
Statements made herein are for informational purposes only and to assist questioners in finding competent and appropriate counsel. These statements are not to be construed as or relied upon as legal advice. Such statements do not create an attorney client relationship.
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