Employees can bargain with employers for severance pay at the beginning of their employment.
Like any other bargain, a sought after employee with adequate leverage can negotiate severance pay following a change in control or other involuntary termination without “cause.” Cause usually means the employee is at fault or did something to contribute to the termination decision .
The company can hardly expect to get much of a return from an employee it just terminated.
From a rational economic perspective, though, these companies arguably earn a reputation for fair play among the small universe of potential employees for top positions.
"Good reason” looks at changes made by the employer to the employee’s working conditions, like a reduction in pay, loss of responsibilities or a downgrade in title.