If I take another job during a lay-off grace period, is it wrong/illegal/unethical?
July 9, 2011 1:33 PM Subscribe
I just got notice of my lay-off last week, which will be effective at the end of this month. My company is offering what I think is a great package, but I want to make sure I am taking advantage of it to the fullest.
posted by gertzedek to work & money (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I know most of you ANAL, and specially not *my* lawyers, but bear with me :-)
The company is being quite generous, and is keeping all laid-off employees on payroll on a grace period until the end of the year, and upon this end-of-year effective termination date it is paying out a severance lump sum based on how long you've been employed.
However, examining the lay-off paperwork, it states that if the employee finds another job during this grace period before the effective termination date, the employee *should* (emphasis mine) notify the company. The severance package will be paid immediately and the employee will be taken off payroll.
My question is: If I find another job and don't notify the company, can I collect two paychecks? Would this be illegal? Why is the company saying *should* instead of *must*? I am assuming my external employment situation is private information, but is there any way the company can find out I took another job?
I don't want to do anything unethical, but I don't have any interest in spending the next six months of my life without working. I want to find another job, but if that puts me off the payroll from my previous company, this severance package is basically a perverse incentive to stay out of the workforce during this grace period, because by taking a job I am basically leaving money on the table.
So, summarizing: if I get another another job during the grace period, am I breaking any laws?