SB 3604, that was recently introduced, proposes to create the "Local Government Severance Pay Act." If passed, the law would require any unit of government that enters into an employment agreement or renews or amends an existing employment agreement to comply with certain statutory restrictions on severance provisions in those agreements.
Firstly, the Act would restrict the amount of severance pay that an employee could be entitled to under the agreement to no more than 20 weeks of compensation.
Secondly, the Act would prohibit any payment of severance to an employee who was fired for misconduct. The Act defines misconduct fairly broadly, to include the following:
- conduct that would be found to be a deliberate violation or disregard of reasonable standards of behavior;
- carelessness or negligence manifesting culpability or wrongful intent;
- chronic absenteeism or tardiness;
- willful and deliberate violation of a state standard or regulation by an employee licensed or regulated by the state; or
- a violation of an employer's rules or policies, with some exceptions.
The bill was introduced two weeks ago and is currently in committee. We will follow this and report back if it moves forward.