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Is There Any Minhag Hamakom in The U.S. Regarding Severance?

Rav Yitzchak Grossman

Question: Is there any prevalent custom in the United States in regards to paying severance?

Answer: Rav Moshe Feinstein established the obligation to provide various types of employees with “chodesh l’shana”, a severance package that totals one month’s worth of pay for each year of work. While he felt this is appropriate for various workers, it has become well-established only in the context of teachers and rabbeim.

Torah U’Mesorah has incorporated the obligation of chodesh l’shana into their Code of Practice, writing that it is accepted that all rabbeim who are terminated should receive this severance.

While it isn’t clear if Rav Moshe was making a takanah based on his authority as the leader of American Jewry, attesting to a common minhag or using some other halachic means, many Rabbanim say that because chodesh l’shana has now been accepted as the common practice in the United States, it now has the full status of a minhag hamakom and is completely binding.

Question: What about other industries besides chinuch?

Answer: My understanding is that there is no widespread minhag in the United States for general workers, unlike in countries like Israel where the custom is to provide severance to all workers. 


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