Termination from your employer can be an emotional and stressful event with potentially long-lasting impacts on your working career. In many cases employees being terminated are asked to sign severance agreements that lay out terms of the termination. Severance agreements usually specify what pay and benefits the company will continue to provide after termination and for how long. At Woodall Batchelor PLLC, we’re happy to walk you through this process to gain a clear understanding of the terms of a severance agreement.
There are a variety of factors that can affect severance agreements given to terminated employees. Both employers and employees should discuss proposed provisions for a severance agreement with an employment lawyer. A severance agreement is a complicated document with multiple provisions that may profoundly impact an employee’s future. Employers may have certain stipulations the terminated employee must follow in order to receive severance pay. It may require employees to waive the possibility of any future legal claims against the company. It’s important that both parties, the employer and employee, have proper legal representation during severance discussions.
Employees typically must cede the right to pursue legal action against their employer as a condition of receiving severance benefits. Agreeing to severance conditions can be complicated, especially if you feel that you were wrongly terminated. The pressure of having to continue receiving income to provide for a family could override your legal right to sue for wrongful termination. It’s in an individual’s best interest to seek legal advice before signing any severance agreement to make sure nothing is awry. The legal team at Woodall Batchelor PLLC can help make sure you are being treated fairly in the event of termination. In many cases we are even able to further negotiate terms in our clients’ favor.
Understanding Your Rights
Companies use severance agreements to limit any blowback after an employee is fired. They see it was a way to ward off any lawsuits and to keep people happy despite being asked to leave. Essentially, they are buying a terminated employee’s compliance. This is fine if the benefits are good enough. However, many terminated employees feel that severance packages are insufficient.
Those terminated need to weigh carefully whether they want to accept severance terms or pursue legal action. Sometimes employees opt for litigation if some sort of harassment occurred or they feel like they are still owed back wages. They may also feel they were wrongfully terminated for some other reason. Meeting with an attorney to discuss your rights in the face of termination can help you know where you stand with regards to any potential legal action.
If severance terms are accepted, it’s important to understand your obligations. Terminated employees who don’t adhere to severance terms risk discontinuation of benefits.
Learn more about severance agreements
In the end, acceptance of these severance agreements should be weighed carefully. Conditions surrounding termination should be reviewed with legal counsel so it can be determined if there is any chance of wrongful termination. Woodall Batchelor PLLC can help make sure severance agreements are presented in a mutually beneficial way that protects both parties legally.
To find out more about severance agreements, call our staff to set up an appointment with one of our labor and employment lawyers.