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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Dear All!

I am from Spain and have been working in the US for 4 years in one of the firms my company has in California (it’s a Spanish company).

When I started working in the US I did receive an offer letter but never signed anything (its common that expats never sign when they come here). The benefits stated on this letter are somewhat of a “reference” and the terms are assumed to be accepted when you arrive.

In my case not all stated benefits were fulfilled, for example, the supposedly initial “moving bonus” was not paid because I did not had anything to move at the time, bad negotiation from my side (that condition was not mentioned in the letter though, it just said “$Y moving bonus”).

For all Spanish expats, when they go back to work for the same company (in Spain or other country in the EU), they receive severances because they need to sign new contracts with Headquarters (HQ) (as well as a “moving bonus” for the return). Its very common to receive severances when you decide to go back, but with reasonable notice timeframe.

I want to quit my job and stay in the US for 1 more year with my family. The problem is that the offer letter, that I never signed, says:

Severance:
• To HQ or another subsidiary, 1 monthly salary for each year of service at XXX.
• Not applicable for at will resignation.


I’m not sure if I have arguments to fight this at all! Since I did not sign anything I suppose there is no point to even think about a severance?

Are there any laws in the US that protect expats?

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you all
 

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Basically, you're on your own when it comes to severance payments in the US. It comes down to company policy - and frankly, it depends on what sort of visa you're on whether or not you'll be able to stay on in the US for another year after you have quit your current job. On some visas, you have something like 30 days to clear out once your job ends.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Don't you already have exactly the same severance condition you described?

Let's suppose you're working for Company X in Belgium. You then want to move to Company X in Spain. You get severance to do that, understood. But even from Belgium to Spain you don't get severance if you want to take a year off and drink beer in Belgium, do you? Company X doesn't know if you're ever going to come back to one of their affiliates if that's your behavior. It's the difference between a direct, timely transfer and a delayed, uncertain one -- and that makes all the difference.

Also, Company X in Spain has to want you at this point in time. Even for a Belgium to Spain transfer. Does your company in Spain want you back there, now? If so, great, you can do your transfer without delay and collect your severance.

In short, I don't see how you've gotten a different offer here.
 

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What I suspect he may be asking about are the US laws regarding severance pay. Don't know about Spain, but there are requirements in several European countries in this regard - however you usually forfeit the right to severance if you voluntarily leave your job. For short-term or temporary jobs, there may be a severance benefit to be paid at the conclusion of the contract term - but again, if you voluntarily leave the job before the end of the contract term, you're SOL.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas! How others transfer is their business unless it is spelled out in the employee handbook.

Trying to change terms of a contract which you did not sign four years after the fact will probably not happen. You have known about it and thus acknowledged it for four years but now the terms do not suit your plans. No employment based visa allows for a stay of up to a year in the US after termination.

Only HR can tell you if you are eligible for extended leave without pay aka sabbatical then eligible for re-hire with sign on bonus.
 

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There are no laws anywhere in the US (Federal or State level) which require a company to offer severance pay. Many firms, both large and small, may offer severance or other end-of-employment benefits, however these are typically reserved for top level executives and are nearly always agreed to in the form of a written contract.

Speaking of contracts, please be aware that the vast majority of US residents labor without a contract of any sort; the US is not Europe when it comes to employment practices.
 

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Why would an employer pay you severance if you are the one who decides to leave?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I am glad I found this forum, thank you all for your feedback.

Ill study for 1 year with an F-1 visa.

I thought I would be entitled to some of the benefits due to the fact this company sent me and my family here. Which will probably never happen as they actually dont have any obligations.
 

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What visa are you currently on?

You can transfer from H visa to F1 without leaving the US I understand.

If you have family here how do you intend to support yourself if you become a student taking into consideration no income and course fees?
 

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There are no laws anywhere in the US (Federal or State level) which require a company to offer severance pay.
That's almost correct, but there are actually a couple states that mandate severance if certain conditions hold, e.g. involuntary termination, mass layoffs, less than mandated notice.
 

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That's almost correct, but there are actually a couple states that mandate severance if certain conditions hold, e.g. involuntary termination, mass layoffs, less than mandated notice.
Which states requires severance pay when you get fired aka involuntary termination?
 

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I am glad I found this forum, thank you all for your feedback.

Ill study for 1 year with an F-1 visa.

I thought I would be entitled to some of the benefits due to the fact this company sent me and my family here. Which will probably never happen as they actually dont have any obligations.
Try common sense. Your employer sends you to the US to go to school on his dime and you expect severance pay for leaving?
 

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Which states requires severance pay when you get fired aka involuntary termination?
California is one example in certain circumstances. California has a state law analogous to the federal WARN Act but with some extra worker protections, including up to 60 days of severance pay if the covered employer fails to provide the legally required notice of termination.

There is no involuntary termination under discussion in this thread, but I simply wanted to point out that your statement is a generalization.
 
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