If the employer refuses to pay severance pay, the first question the employee has to ask is was there a contractual obligation of the employer to pay severance pay. Typically there is not. Many times, executive level employees will have written contractual agreements that state that they’re entitled to a certain amount of severance pay once they depart their employment. Most employment relationships do not have a contractual severance obligation. When there is no written or contractual obligation of the employer to pay severance, the employee has no entitlement to severance.