Severance Agreements — What You Need to Consider Before Signing 

Layoffs are taking place in our turbulent and dynamic economy, affecting enterprises of all kinds. Recent numbers show that layoffs are up 68% year over year, with job losses hurting industries across the board. Severance agreements often accompany layoffs, but many people have never had to evaluate and negotiate their severance deal. The intricacies of employment law can be complex, so get professional legal help today! 

A layoff differs from a leave. If you are furloughed, your employment is essentially frozen, yet you remain formally an employee of the firm. If you are laid off, your employment ends. 

Severance compensation is not required in the United States, and most companies do not provide it. Severance conditions are frequently included in an employment contract, yet many employers do not issue employment contracts to their employees. If your company asks you to sign a severance agreement, there are a few things to consider.

What to consider before signing. 

  • Get the help of an attorney. 

If severance is provided, have an attorney evaluate the arrangement. You may be giving up rights you did not consider, or you may be committing to something that will cost you more than the severance package. 

  • Do not sign the severance agreement right away.

Take your time. Do not feel obligated to sign the agreement right away. You normally have a specific length of time to study and sign the paper. Check the time limit in your unique agreement. 

Having an employment attorney analyze the agreement before you sign is important because an attorney may assist in guaranteeing that the conditions are fair and that the corporation honors any previous arrangements or agreements with you. 

  • Consider your pension. 

Do you get a pension? How is it addressed in the agreement? Many agreements incorporate releases under ERISA, the legislation that controls pensions. Be certain you are not inadvertently giving up your pension entitlements. If you have an employer-matched 401 and are not vested, you are likely forfeiting the company contribution to your 401.

  • Decide whether you want to negotiate or not. 

Waiting to sign your severance agreement allows you to determine whether or not to negotiate. Most individuals are unaware that severance agreements may be negotiated; it is up to you to decide if you want to pursue that option.

You may be able to negotiate insurance coverage, severance money, job search services, and other benefits. An employment attorney can assist you in preparing your counteroffer and determining your best bargaining grounds.

Suppose you have concerns about issues like workplace discrimination that emerged during your employment. In that case, you should discuss them with your attorney since they can have a substantial influence on your discussions. 

Are you considering signing the severance agreement? Get the help of a skilled attorney today to ensure that all your rights are protected! 

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