Severance Lawyers’ employment attorneys have successfully negotiated hundreds of severance agreements for employees. Before you decide whether to have our firm negotiate your severance package, we suggest that you utilize our flat-rate review and conference all. This review time will determine whether we believe you have the leverage to increase the amount of severance offered to you. The meeting will let us know whether you may want to hire us to negotiate your severance agreement. If you retain our firm to negotiate the severance on your behalf, we will deduct the flat rate charged from the fee.
Most of the time, we suggest that our clients use the specific changes that we provide them as part of the flat-rate review to complete their severance negotiation on their own. However, if we believe that we could add value to your negotiation and increase the amount of the severance payment or types of benefits you will receive, we may suggest that you retain us to negotiate the agreement for you.
We will discuss the various options in retaining our firm to negotiate your agreement with you. You will be surprised how often we have met with individuals, even other attorneys, who were unaware of the numerous items that could change and the additional benefits an employee could receive through a severance negotiation.
Being Terminated is Scary
You have been called to HR and informed that you are being terminated or are part of a reduction-in-force. This is an intimidating and scary meeting. During this time, your company may present you with a severance agreement. Some employers will pressure you to sign it immediately. Be careful and ask for time to review it.
Suppose you are over the age of 40. In that case, you will likely have rights that allow you to consider the agreement for either 21 or 45 days, depending on the size of the layoff, and then allow you seven days to revoke your acceptance after signing the severance agreement negotiations.
While you may feel some pressure from your employer to waive these rights, take advantage of this time to have the agreement reviewed and possibly go back to negotiate your severance. At first glance, you may think the agreement is standard and that everyone else has signed it. Not true—nothing is standard, and everything can change to make an agreement fair for you and the employer.
Severance Lawyers will review your agreement and work on your behalf to negotiate the best severance package terms possible for you. We will keep you constantly informed of what we are doing and the steps to remove any uncertainties. We will also remove any fear that you may have of speaking with your former employer, manager, or colleagues—we will handle all communications with the company if we are conducting the severance negotiations on your behalf.
Whether you are losing your job due to broad changes and layoffs, or they ask you to leave with a severance package due to mismanagement or other missteps, an employer will only offer a severance package to protect themselves.
You must understand that you would not be receiving an agreement if there were nothing in it for them. Therefore, it is essential to view such offers as a fluid severance agreement negotiation process and not a one-time deal. If your employer will benefit from the agreement, it is in your best interest to make sure that your benefits are sufficient to outweigh anything you may have to give up.
Ask for time
While your HR department may ask you to sign a severance agreement immediately, it is your right to ask for time to review and consider negotiating their severance offer before signing. The law permits you time to review the agreement at home. Once you ask for this time, get the paperwork to your lawyer right away so they can best use the time to negotiate the severance package terms. Do not rush into anything and risk waiving your fundamental rights.
Ask for more
Chances are the initial severance agreement presented to you is a company standard and not one tailored to you specifically. It probably does not provide you with any compensation for a potential lawsuit that you would be waiving. You may have been harassed at work or subjected to a hostile work environment. You should receive more than “standard” severance in return for not filing a lawsuit against the company. You can request changes and additions during a severance negotiation that you would miss out on if you signed too soon. Besides the obvious request of asking for more money, there are other items you could suggest in your severance agreement negotiation.
You can ask for more benefits in your severance package, such as negotiating a different last day to add more experience to your record or asking to be paid for any unused vacation time. If your company had you using equipment like a laptop and cell phone, you could also request to keep those items in your name after you leave. With the job market in dire straits, you could negotiate your severance for employment counseling, office resources to assist you with your job search, and the freedom to speak with management to ask for job recommendations as well.
All severance agreements will contain legal terms and language best translated by an experienced employment attorney. You should seek legal counsel to protect you and get the most gain from your cooperation while not undermining the essential benefits you are already entitled to receive. Call Severance Lawyers today to begin your severance negotiation process.
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