Many high level executives successfully negotiate exceptional severance packages after their terminations. However, agreeing to certain severance pay deals usually comes at a price – and if you are not informed, you may make a mistake. Former employees may want an experienced employment attorney to review certain documents to minimize the risk involved in accepting terms.
What a Severance Pay Attorney Can Provide
An attorney can provide valuable legal insight into your termination situation. This includes:
- Severance package evaluations. A severance pay attorney can help you determine whether you need to sign a severance package agreement and whether the company offers agreeable terms. Your attorney may help you renegotiate the offering, remove poorly worded passages, and protect your rights before you sign.
- Claim waiver insight. A company may offer former employees additional severance benefits in exchange for a claims release or waiver. An employee who signs before reviewing the agreement may waive his or her rights to stocks, pensions, or future legal action. An attorney will ensure the company's agreement offers fair terms.
- Contractual obligations review. Employee contracts may prevent former employees from working at certain companies in the future or using any proprietary information. Some of these restrictions can significantly hinder a former employee from obtaining meaningful work. An attorney can help an employee outline restrictive terms, renegotiate key aspects, and maintain compliance with the terms in the future.
- Enforceability issues. A conversation, handshake, or other forms of communication may not constitute a legal agreement. Your attorney will ensure all agreements are fair and legally enforceable. You should have every agreement in writing and request adequate time for review before formally signing any severance documents.
- Nuanced language issues. You may not reflect on the language used in a severance package, but language forms the basis for enforcement. The difference between the word “total” and “reasonable” could save an employee from unfair requests after termination. An experienced attorney will also look for unreasonable language that may prevent you from sharing vital information with a spouse or your attorney.
Employees who worked at a company for years, who have complex contracts, or who were treated unfairly by employers may benefit from legal advice during the severance pay review process. You do have rights as a former employee, and your attorney can help you make informed decisions before you move on. If you need help with severance terms, reach out to the Law Offices of Brian I. Vogel at 626.796.7470 today.
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