Say your company was going under and you had the option to either go down with the ship or be paid part of your salary all at once to leave and find another job. Unless you truly were a ship captain and your ship was sinking, you'd probably take the buyout.
More than 2,000 American Airlines flight attendants have opted to take a $40,000 buyout in the face of the airline's restructuring, according to Dallas' WFAA-TV. This option was offered in order to avoid furloughs and firings as the airline recovers from bankruptcy. This program is called "Easy Out" and was negotiated by the flight attendants' union and American.
Is a company required to give its workers severance?
The answer really depends on many factors. One thing to remember is that Texas is an "at-will" employment state. So you can quit, or a company can fire you, for any or no reason, as long as its not illegal discrimination.
However, it doesn't matter if your state is a so-called "right-to-work" state if your employment is governed by a contract. That contract can either be a collective bargaining agreement, or an agreement between your employer and you.
When you have a contract, it is that document that dictates exactly how you can end your employment. Some contracts require that you give a certain amount of notice before leaving a company, or require that a company have "good cause" to fire you.
If your contract is for a specific period of time, it could be possible for your company to buy out the remaining time so that you will leave. This is what American is offering its flight attendants.
While the flight attendants do have contracts, the contracts are probably not for a specific time period. The buyout offer is likely a way to get employees to leave without feeling they were fired without good cause. It's also a way for the employer to reduce overall costs.
Just know that if you are offered to be bought out of your position, it is a legally viable option. But a company is not required to offer a buyout, nor are you required to accept one.
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