Did I make a mistake by taking a "voluntary severance package" ?
A few weeks ago the entire staff of about 300 received an email informing us that the company was implementing a two phase Workforce Reduction Plan.
Phase I: Voluntary Severance Package (VSP) available to entire staff.
Phase II: Layoffs the following Friday with reduced severance.(if enough didn't take VSP).
Later that afternoon, I along with 28 other employee received an email with instructions on how to apply for VSP. The list included the highest-salary, long-term employees, from about 10 to 33 years with the company.
It appeared that I along with the other 28 employees were being targeted for lay-off, so I agreed to the VSP. I felt like it was anything but voluntary.
Will agreeing to take the VSP cause my UI claim to be denied? I have a phone interview with California EDD next Friday. Two others who took the VSP have already had their claims denied after the phone interview.
Is there information I could provide to help my case. Or would you recommend a coach? My position has not been replaced. Thank you.
I'm not one to think of accepting a voluntary separation package as a mistake, but rather, a personal preference that may become regrettable, dependent on a successful job search.
The state a VSP happens in can also matter. as can the reason for accepting one. It might be disqualifying depending on who the employer is and if there are conditions that make it voluntary, or actually forced.
So I'm glad you mention it's the California EDD in control because they have a good benefit determination guide and a whole section on voluntary quits in lieu of Severance Pay, Dismissal or Separation Pay
It's not the first time I've been asked about this after the quit has taken place, but I'm guessing I tucked most Q&As in under California Unemployment Questions.
Your advantage is California provides explanatory information as to when severance pay is not wages for unemployment insurance purposes.
The UIBDG (at the first link) really is a necessary read for you to determine whether your package and circumstances for accepting are disqualifying, or the exception to the rule about quits.