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Q: Employment Law -- Two Weeks Salary ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   2 Comments )
Subject: Employment Law -- Two Weeks Salary
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: exemployee-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 20 Aug 2006 18:05 PDT
Expires: 19 Sep 2006 18:05 PDT
Question ID: 757960
I recently resigned from my job. The company decided to let me go
immediately (without the standard two weeks).

Some of my ex-colleagues have told me that this company had paid
ex-employees for the two weeks even when they were let go immediately.
I asked the HR manager, and he said that the company was an at-will
employer and had no responsibility to pay me for time not worked.

So my two questions are:

1. Is the company _legally_ responsible for paying the two weeks even
if they had let me go earlier (the company is in Virginia by the way).

2. Since other ex-employees had been paid for the two weeks, could I
_legally_ use this as an argument for them to pay me for the two
Subject: Re: Employment Law -- Two Weeks Salary
Answered By: cynthia-ga on 20 Aug 2006 20:51 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hi exemployee,

It's bad news I'm afraid. My collegue "Tisme" is indeed correct. I
located the citations for you below.

1) Your ex-employer is not bound by law to pay any severance pay. The
fact that they did pay others is immaterial. It was a gift.

2) You have no case for a civil suit for 2 weeks pay. You were let go
without cause in an At-Will state, they can let anyone go at any time,
for any reason, or no reason at all.

Here are the relevant sections from the State of Virginia Dept of Labor's web site:

Virginia Dept of L&I
Frequently Asked Questions: Labor & Employment Law
..."QUESTION: If an employee believes he has been terminated unfairly,
does he have a legal right to challenge the termination?

ANSWER: Virginia is an employment-at-will state; this means the
employer may terminate any employee at any time, for any reason, or
for no reason. As a general rule, therefore, the employee has no right
to challenge the termination. There are a few very limited exceptions.
For example, an employee may not be discriminated against or
terminated because he has filed a safety complaint or exercised his
rights under OSHA law. Virginia Code  40.1-51.2:1. Also, federal law
protects employees from discrimination because of age, race, sex,
religion, national origin or handicap..."

Virginia Dept of L&I
Frequently Asked Questions: Payment of Wage
..."QUESTION: When an employee terminates, when are his final wages due?

ANSWER: Final wages must be paid on or before the next regular payday
on which the employee would have been paid had he remained employed.
Virginia Code  40.1-29(A)(1)..."

..."QUESTION: Must an employer provide or pay for an employee for
vacation, holiday, sick, or severance pay?
The law does not require any employer to provide fringe benefits of
any kind, such as vacation, holiday, sick pay, severance pay, and
retirement benefits. If the employer agrees to provide such benefits,
and the employee performs work in reliance on that promise, the
employee may be entitled to the benefits as a matter of contract law,
and may file a private lawsuit in court to require the employer to
give benefits. DOLI cannot assist with these claims..."


Search method: 
I navigated to Virginia's Department of Labor and searched keywords.
exemployee-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Ok thanks!

Subject: Re: Employment Law -- Two Weeks Salary
From: tisme-ga on 20 Aug 2006 20:13 PDT
Hello exemployee-ga,

I think if you resign, it is not mandatory that they pay you two weeks
salary (actually that they give you two weeks notice). Not sure
though, hopefully a researcher can help you with this.

Subject: Re: Employment Law -- Two Weeks Salary
From: research_help-ga on 21 Aug 2006 11:19 PDT
The law is not going to help you if you are an at will employee. 
However, many companies have policies that state that you will be paid
for 2 weeks if you give 2 weeks notice of resignation.  It would be in
the employee manual.  If it is written in the company manual, then you
have clear legal right to be paid for 2 weeks.  It is foolish for a
company not to have this guarantee of 2 weeks pay, because now no one
will give them advance notice as they have seen what happened to you.

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