Severance Agreement Negotiation Lawyers
Severance agreements are one of the most misunderstood aspects of leaving a company. It would be more accurate to call them “exit agreements” or “settlement agreements,” as their function is to define in writing all the expectations of both parties once an employee ends his or her employment with the company.
This agreement often covers a wide array of topics and has the ability to bind and waive a host of future actions. As a rule of thumb, since the agreement was drafted by the employer’s Human Resources department and legal counsel, you should expect it to have language that is extremely favorable to the company.
KM&A Employment Law Practice Areas
Q&A: The Benefits of a Severance Agreement Attorney
When Should You Contact a Severance Agreement Attorney?
Contact a severance agreement attorney if you receive any document which requires a signature in order to receive money.
Historically, if an employee is already entitled to receive a severance payment, whether pursuant to an employment contract, company policy, or other agreement, there is no need to sign a severance agreement to get that money. This notion generally does not hold true any longer. Employers quickly learned to attach a litany of strings so that they actually receive valuable promises from the employee.
Severance pay is any sum of money your employer provides you upon separation. Some severance agreements also offer other benefits (e.g., health insurance) to employees for some period of time after separation.
Several myths about severance pay still float around out there. We are here to dispel a few of them so that you can have a more realistic expectation of what to expect if you lose your job.
As an at-will employment state, Pennsylvania permits employers and employees to enter and exit an employment relationship at any time. In some cases, at termination, an employer may try to force the employee to sign termination letters.
Why Do You Need an Attorney for a Severance Agreement?
A severance agreement lawyer will serve in multiple capacities to protect your interests. You must understand that each agreement has a great number of interactive components and every situation is widely different. In reality, people leave their jobs for a variety of different reasons. People work in different fields, have access to different information, have different expectations, and simply want different things. Good severance agreements need to be custom tailored to the individual and his or her employer. Here are a list of some concerns that arise in most severance agreements:
- Future employment
- Amount of money
- Waiver of claims
- Unemployment benefits
- Health insurance
- Choice of law
- Choice of venue
- Mutual confidentiality
- Wrongful termination evaluation
- Future references
- Integration of oral promises
- Non compete language
- Other restrictive covenants
- Proprietary information
- Confidential information
A severance agreement is an important part of your work life, whether you transition to another job or choose to retire. You want to be sure that your employer is offering you the best option and not expecting irrational non-compete agreements. Speak with a severance agreement lawyer to find out your best options and have your documents reviewed.
Kraemer, Manes & Associates LLC “KM&A” is a law firm serving all of Pennsylvania with our principal offices in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. Call KM&A in western Pennsylvania at 412-626-5626 or in eastern Pennsylvania at 215-618-9185. KM&A can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.