Employers are not legally required to pay severance pay if a salaried employee is terminated, unless there is a mass layoff. In this event, the employer must give either a 60-day or 90-day termination notice or pay 60-90 days of severance pay under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act.
Companies have the option of offering a severance package to a worker in exchange for relinquishing legal rights to sue the company. The Older Worker Benefit Protection Act provides protection for workers over 40, giving them 21 days to review this type of release of claims, seven days to revoke the release and time to consult with an attorney. Accepting a severance package affects a worker's unemployment claim. It is the worker's responsibility to find out how this could affect their claim or legal rights.