Why It Is Good to Have Your Severance Agreement Reviewed by an Attorney
Gone are the days of working for the same company for decades. Sometimes it is by choice of the employee, but occasionally employment ends due to layoffs or termination. When this occurs, an employee may be offered a severance package, which is essentially an agreement that lays out the terms for the continuation of benefits and/or pay. An employee may feel pressured to sign the agreement right away, but it is enormously beneficial to have an experienced employment attorney take a look first.
A Severance Agreement Can Impact Your Future Employment
A severance agreement may attempt to limit your ability to apply your knowledge of particular industry processes, under the guise of a non-disclosure clause. You may also be asked to sign a non-solicitation clause, limiting your contact with current clients or customers. This can dramatically limit your ability to obtain future employment if you do not move to negotiate the terms.
An Attorney Can Ensure You Aren’t Giving Up Benefits You Are Entitled To
Some severance agreements will attempt to strip employees of bonuses, wages, cashing out paid time off, or other benefits they were entitled to. When you are laid off or terminated, you may still qualify for receiving these benefits under your employment contract. However, many employees unknowingly sign waivers that are present within severance agreements. An attorney will be able to inform you of your rights and what you may be entitled to upon leaving your employer.
You Can Negotiate a Better Deal
It is a common misconception that you can’t negotiate a severance agreement. There are negotiation strategies your attorney can utilize to help you leave your employment in a better position. There are many areas in which your attorney can negotiate, including:
Continued health insurance coverage
More money as a lump sum or extension of monthly wages
Payment of earned vacation time
Keeping a company laptop, phone, or other technical equipment
Aside from the immediate benefits of negotiating a better deal from a soon-to-be-former employer, it puts you in a better position for future employment. You will learn tips and strategies through this process, which can help you to protect your reputation with your next employers.
You Can Ask for More Time
Many clients are told by employers that they must sign the severance agreement quickly. Some employees are given a 24-hour or 48-hour deadline. You can request an extension in order to get the agreement looked at by an attorney.
If you have been laid-off or terminated and need assistance navigating a severance agreement, contact the Law Offices of Tanya Gomerman. Call 415-545-8608 today for a FREE consultation.