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Q: My severance offer has a deadline. What if I need more time?


Severance offers usually come with deadline to sign. If you feel you won’t be able to respond to the offer within the deadline, you can ask the employer for an extension and usually it will be allowed.

It’s important to remember that deadlines are most often used as a tool to put pressure on the other party. We encourage people not to take steps that they don’t understand or don’t seem fair simply because they feel pressured by a deadline.

Ultimately, a deadline on a settlement offer only matters if you would want to accept the offer. If you make a counteroffer, that will automatically take the employer’s prior offer off the table anyway.

However, if you intend to accept an offer but you don’t do so within the deadline, the employer could take the position that the offer is no longer available and come back with a less favourable proposal. That would be uncommon, but it is possible. Refusing to honour an expired offer is particularly likely if, since making the offer, the employer learns that the employee has mitigated his/her losses or a justification for termination with cause emerges after the dismissal.

Remember: don't take these articles as legal advice! If you have a legal issue, you should consult a lawyer, whether that be us or someone else . The law is riddled with exceptions and nuanced points. These articles only provide tid bits of information for the interested reader. They are by no means exhaustive.


This website does not provide legal advice or opinion and should not be relied on as such advice or opinion. The articles here provide general information only. Tomm Law makes no claims, promises, or guarantees of the accuracy or completeness of the information. Articles are not updated after publication and may become outdated with changes in jurisprudence or legislation. Your use of this site is subject to the Terms and Conditions, which include disclaimers and waivers of liability.