Severance Agreement Review

Have you dedicated years of loyal service to a company that is now presenting you with a severance package? You’re not alone. Each year, thousands of Americans are let go, forced into early retirement, or offered severance packages that appear on the surface to be generous. The Law Office of Delmas A. Costin, Jr. can perform a severance agreement review on the offer your employer made and determine if it’s in your best interests to accept the agreement.

What is a Severance Agreement?

A severance agreement is a contract between an employer and an employee in which an employee waives their right to file a lawsuit against their employer in exchange for monetary compensation over the course of a few months to a year.

How an Attorney Can Help With a Severance Agreement Review

Severance offers can be used to take advantage of loyal employees, especially those who are older and have dedicated sometimes decades of their lives to a company. The severance offer provides payments over a period of time, but if you’re laid off, your employer is required to provide you with unemployment benefits regardless.

Before you sign any agreement with your employer, you should have an employment attorney look over the agreement to ensure that it’s fair to you. Often, employees aren’t sure whether the offer they’re receiving is fair or not. This allows employers, who are consulting with attorneys, to offer unfair severance packages in the hopes the employee won’t bother fighting.

We Will Review Existing Employment Agreements

When you first began your employment, did you sign an employment agreement? Did your employer make verbal promises considering severance? Does your employee handbook mention severance agreements?

Even in cases where there is no written agreement, an attorney may be able to find evidence from promises made to you or other employees or agreements that may have been mentioned in the employee handbook. The first step in the process is to review any and all commitments your employer made to you when you began at their company and to determine if the severance offer is living up to their promises. 

Since so many employees will take the agreement without reviewing the terms, it often behooves employers to make unfair offers in the hopes the employee won’t know they can fight the offer. Our NYC employment attorneys can ensure you aren’t accepting a bad offer.

We Will Help You Negotiate a Fair Severance Agreement

Some employees will be presented with severance agreements that look good on the surface, at least moneywise, but the agreement will contain a non-compete provision severely limiting your ability to find new employment. If your employer expects you to sign a non-compete agreement that will prevent you from seeking out new employment in your field for a period of time, then their severance offer should reflect the fact that you are agreeing not to seek other employment for a time. In other words, your employer should have to pay for requesting a non-compete. 

If you sign the agreement simply to collect your final check, you won’t have another chance to go back and negotiate the matter. Even if you plan on retiring, a non-compete clause is a powerful bargaining chip in the process of negotiating your settlement. You deserve to be paid for it.

Employment Discrimination and Severance Agreements

Age discrimination is one of the most common complaints when it comes to severance agreements. Employees feel like they’re being forced out because executives want to put their own people into key positions or think that having a younger workforce will improve their situation. In other cases, they are hoping to reduce the company’s overhead when it comes to employee expenditures.

Older staff, especially those who have been with a company for decades, may have accumulated raises over the years that are now considered an unnecessary expense. Their boss may tell them that their position has been eliminated, and they are being laid off, but later, the employee finds out that they’ve been replaced by someone much younger with a fraction of the skill set. 

If you sign a severance agreement, you are waiving your right to file a lawsuit against your employer, so you should be very certain that the agreement is the best one you can get.

Our Employment Attorneys Perform Severance Agreement Review

In addition to the aforementioned services, our attorneys can help ensure you receive all monies owed by your employer, determine how your termination affects your pension and retirement accounts, and ensure you aren’t being left without health insurance after you sign the agreement. Before you sign anything, call the employment attorneys at The Law Office of Delmas A. Costin, Jr., and let us perform a severance agreement review.