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Severance Negotiation

Severance Negotiation Attorneys

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.

What Are Some Alternative Options to Traditional Severance Packages That Can Be Negotiated?

Alternative options to traditional severance packages that can be negotiated include:

  • Supplemental Unemployment Benefit (SUB) Plans: SUB Plans are unique severance benefit plans that allow employers to supplement state unemployment benefits. These plans provide additional financial support to employees who have been laid off or terminated.
  • Retraining and Upskilling Programs: Instead of providing a lump sum severance payment, some companies may offer retraining or upskilling programs to help employees transition into new roles or industries. This can include access to training courses, career counseling, or assistance with job placement.
  • Extended Healthcare Coverage: Negotiating for extended healthcare coverage beyond the termination date can be an alternative to traditional severance packages. This can provide employees with continued access to medical, dental, or vision insurance for an extended period of time.
  • Job Placement Assistance: Some companies may offer job placement assistance services as part of a severance package. This can involve resume writing assistance, interview coaching, networking support, or connections with potential employers.
  • Stock Options or Equity: In certain cases, employees may negotiate for stock options or equity as part of their severance package. This allows them to maintain a financial stake in the company even after their employment has ended.
  • Additional Performance Bonuses: Employees can negotiate for additional performance bonuses tied to specific milestones or achievements, even after their employment has been terminated. This can incentivize the company to continue supporting the employee's success.
  • Extended Access to Company Resources: Negotiating for continued access to company resources, such as email accounts, professional development tools, or networking platforms, can be beneficial for employees transitioning to new opportunities. 

Understand Specifics

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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    My experience with Severance Lawyers was excellent. They gave my case all the time and attention that was needed to be successful. They were a calming and confident presence during a difficult and uncertain time for me. Their guidance was outstanding at all times, prompt, professional,  timely and open for calls and quick updates. They invested the time to work through all of my questions and issues. I can’t thank them enough and would hire them again.

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    Tom and his staff understand the law very well. They are quick to return calls, take the initiative, and explain things in a way I can understand. From start to finish Tom was there to help me out every step of the way with our case. I am glad to have Tom and his team on my side. I simply cannot thank them enough!

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    I found myself in a challenging & stressful situation that required legal representation and their attorney Paul Castronovo handled it beyond my expectations.  Paul is incredibly experienced/knowledgeable and I just felt like I was in good hands the entire time.  Paul has a calming demeanor too–which is helpful in these stressful situations. Paul helped turn my lemons into lemonade.

    - Tucker W.
    “His confidence shined through instilling the confidence in me and peace of mind having him by my side.”

    Tom McKinney’s prompt attention, articulate and comprehensive advice addressed my Employment Agreement related issue. His confidence shined through instilling the confidence in me and peace of mind having him by my side. If you’re dealing with the proverbial ‘blood sucking’ company, look no further than Tom’s voice of reason.

    - Sweta M.
    “He was professional and knowledgeable in employment law.”

    Going to Tom and his team for my case was the best decision I made. He was professional and knowledgeable in employment law. He helped me reach a resolution and I could not recommend him enough for anyone else out there.

    - Austin S.
    “I have referred him to friends in NJ and NY.”

    Tom McKinney is one of the best attorneys that I know…whether to negotiate on your behalf or reviewing your agreement to make sure you are getting maximum value for your compensation. From stock options to deferred compensation.  I have referred him to friends in NJ and NY.

    - Sean C.
    “Tom was prudent in having me use his services and I did not overpay when not needed.”

    I had Tom review my severance agreement. He provided a lot of valuable insight. I was able to go back to my employer with various points and double my package. Tom was prudent in having me use his services (told me to go back to my employer before fully engaging him) and I did not overpay when not needed.   Other lawyers could have easily taken advantage of my situation and over-lawyered the situation.

    - Joe K.

Have Questions?

We Have Answers!
  • How long do I have to sign the severance documents?

    When companies terminate employees and provide a severance package, the goal of the severance is to benefit both the company and the employee. Therefore, the employee has time to review the agreement. Review timelines depend on employee age and the number of people terminated simultaneously.

    • Employees under the age of 40 – No set time frame, but it must be reasonable and ample enough to review and understand the components.
    • Employees over the age of 40 – 21 days to review and sign and 7 days to reconsider and revoke your signature.
    • Multiple terminations at once – 45 days to review and sign and 7 days to reconsider and revoke your signature.
  • How is severance pay calculated?

    Several factors go into severance pay amounts. Employees in higher management positions may receive additional benefits like longer pay terms, office equipment, or medical benefits.

    Typical payouts can last up to 26 weeks and go by the following calculations:

    • Hourly Employees: Number of years with company X 1 week of regular pay = Severance Pay $ Total
    • Salaried Employees: Number of years with company X 2 weeks of regular pay = Severance Pay $ Total
  • Am I entitled to severance pay?

    No, most companies provide a severance agreement when they lay off or fire an employee. Offering a severance package is entirely optional for the company. Most companies only do it to protect themselves from future lawsuits, the employee going to a competitor company, or adverse claims from the employee. The company takes multiple factors into account when preparing the packages.