I have been asked if the Palmetto Bay Manager can receive severance if he tenders a resignation. CLICK HERE to view the current proposed resolution placed on a Special Council Meeting agenda for consideration Monday, October 7, 2019, at 6:50 PM. There is a single item:
The short answer is YES, a local government may adopt a personnel policy providing severance pay to employees terminated without cause or who submit a resignation.
This question has been asked before. Florida Law was amended restricting severance to a maximum value of 20 weeks.
CLICK HERE to view the Florida Attorney General Opinion - AGO 2016-14.Municipalities - Public Employees - Severance Pay
The Attorney General’s Opinion “in sum” was as follows:
1. Section 215.425(4)(a), Florida Statutes, permits a local government to adopt a personnel policy providing severance pay to employees terminated without cause or who submit a resignation.
2. Section 215.425(4)(a)1., Florida Statutes, limits such severance pay to 20 weeks.
3. The amendment to section 215.425, Florida Statutes, operated prospectively, and therefore, under the South Daytona ordinance that existed prior to the effective date of July 1, 2011, the City Manager retains the discretion to decide whether to provide severance pay to City employees who were hired before that date.
4. Section 215.425(4)(d)2., Florida Statutes, provides that an early retirement program that complies with part VII of Chapter 112, Florida Statutes, is not subject to the limitations on severance pay found in section 215.425, Florida Statutes.
A POSSIBLE IMPORTANT DISTINCTION: The question, however, is whether a ‘one time’ resolution, as proposed for Monday, October 7, 2019, specifically tailored to the current Village Manager, properly (legally) constitutes “… adopting a personnel policy providing severance pay to employees terminated without cause or who submit a resignation” as it appears to be a one-time, limited inducement, not a long-term policy of impact to the entire group of employees.