Answering top questions about severance agreements

If you have been recently laid off or have been fired from your job, there is a chance that you will have to deal with a severance agreement. While employers are not always required to offer severance pay, they often do so to avoid the possible scope of a wrongful termination lawsuit. Instead of signing the documents without understanding the details, consider meeting an attorney or getting severance agreement guides that have comprehensive information. In this post, we have answered some common questions concerning severance agreements.

What is the difference between severance pay and a severance agreement?

For the unversed, severance pay is the amount and benefits that are given to an employee when they leave. The severance agreement is the set of documents that the employee must sign to get the pay. There are many pages in a severance agreement, which is why it is wise to review the terms and conditions.

Why do employers offer severance packages?

If your employment contract requires the company to give you a severance package, they must do so, although this is usually reserved for executives at higher positions. The more common reason to offer pay and other benefits to an employee who is leaving is to have a clean relationship. For instance, if you have been terminated wrongfully or suffered discrimination, your employer could fear potential lawsuits, which can affect the brand’s image. Non-competition agreements are often a concern, and if you hire an attorney, they will do their best to get away with that.

Is it necessary to consult an attorney?

Although not mandatory by law, it is best to consult an attorney to discuss the severance packages. If survival guides from law firms don’t seem enough, you can meet an attorney to know whether there is room for negotiation. Remember, the package is not a parting gift from your employer. With an attorney, you have the chance to review further and consider better ways to get a deal that is more suitable for the circumstances.

Before you go back for negotiations, ensure you have clarity on what you are asking for and why the employer should consider your requests. Your lawyer will also guide you further on steps you can take if the employer pushes back. If the company refuses your request, you must determine if you are okay with the initial severance package. Decide after you have a fair idea of the documents you are signing.

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