Should a fired employee get severance?

October 21, 2005

My billing clerk gave two weeks' notice of her intention to quit. But by the end of the first week, her attitude was so poor that I terminated her on the spot. I paid her for the week she worked and for the balance of her unused vacation days. Am I obligated to pay her for the second week?

Q: My billing clerk gave two weeks' notice of her intention to quit. But by the end of the first week, her attitude was so poor that I terminated her on the spot. I paid her for the week she worked and for the balance of her unused vacation days. Am I obligated to pay her for the second week?

A: You're not required to pay her unless it's your established practice to pay severance to terminated employees. Your practice's written personnel policy should state that severance pay is at the discretion of the employer.