Understanding What to do After Receiving a Severance Agreement
Have you learned that your employer is ending your employment but has provided you with a severance agreement to review and sign before you officially part ways? If you find yourself in this circumstance, you likely have many questions. You also may feel pressured because many employers require the agreement to be signed by a certain date. Signing this type of agreement could affect the severance payment received, receipt of unemployment benefits, and future employment. Signing the wrong severance agreement could result in serious consequences and limitations.
Leeds Law Firm has experienced Houston severance agreement attorneys available to review severance agreements and provide answers to these questions and advice on the rights and obligations you may have if you choose to execute a severance agreement. Before signing, it is very important to understand your rights and options with regards to the severance agreement’s terms.
Why Would my Employer Offer a Severance Agreement?
It is important to understand that in most cases, the severance agreement being presented to a terminated employee has been created or reviewed by the employer’s attorney. In other words, the terms of the severance agreement are written to ensure the employer’s best interest, not the employee’s.
Often, the employer’s main goal in offering a terminated employee severance pay is to get the employee to agree that he or she will not sue the employer for wrongful termination or some other legal claim. In fact, employers often use a severance agreement to avoid potential discrimination or retaliation lawsuits, overtime or wage claims and other claims related to wrongful termination.
Understanding what rights and obligations are included in the severance agreement and the context of several competing legal and financial concerns is essential in determining whether or not to sign the severance agreement and accept the severance package.
Another potential reason for offering a terminated employee severance pay is to get the employee to agree to a non-compete agreement, non-solicitation clause, restrictive covenant, non-disparagement clause and other terms that can significantly restrict the employee’s ability to obtain new employment. These terms can have detrimental effects on the employee’s economic future, especially if the employee plans to continue working within the same industry.
Do I Need to Consult With an Attorney Before Signing a Severance Agreement?
With all these factors to consider, it often makes sense to have an experienced severance agreement attorney review a severance agreement so that the employee fully understands all its terms. Any employee presented with a severance agreement could benefit from having an attorney to explain the terms, the process and ensure that the employee knows and protects his/her rights. A situation where only the employer has legal counsel often leaves the employee at a disadvantage.
Leeds Law Firm works closely with clients in evaluating the terms and conditions of a severance agreement. As Houston severance agreement attorneys we are prepared to give you quick, relevant advice when you are under time pressure to accept or decline a severance agreement.
If you have been given a severance agreement, or if you have been terminated and believe that you are entitled to a severance package, schedule a consultation with a skilled severance agreement lawyer on our team today.