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What to know about severance agreements

On Behalf of | Apr 1, 2021 | Contracts

New York employers benefit when they are able to hire and retain effective and competent workers. No matter their industry, having good employees is an asset that practically every entity hopes to acquire. Through competitive salaries and benefits’ plans, many organizations can attract and employee workers whose skills and knowledge advance the interests of their employers.

However, even great workers eventually leave their jobs, and the end of a work experience may not always be on the employee’s own terms. When a worker has to be let to, they may be offered a severance agreement or package, depending on their role in the organization. This post will touch on some of the basics of severance agreements, but as with all matters discussed on this blog, readers should talk their employment law attorneys about their legal questions.

What can be included in a severance package?

When releasing an employee, an employer should be aware of what they can offer the departing individual as severance. Often, an employer will consider certain factors about the employee’s work, such as the length of their employment and the reason the employee is leaving, when preparing a compensation offer. In some cases, a severance package may be offered in exchange for an employee’s waiver of rights to sue their employer for wrongful termination or other causes. Benefits, pay, and other forms of compensation may be included therein.

Why should lawyers be involved in severance negotiations?

As mentioned, severance packages often become agreements when employers and employees exchange consideration. When an employer offers benefits to a worker who agrees not to sue, their negotiations may result in a legally binding contract. An attorney can help an employer ensure that they are protecting their rights and preserving their interests when they must let an employee go under the terms of a severance agreement.

There are no standard forms for severance packages or agreements. They generally must be crafted based on individual employers and employees. Employment attorneys can provide counsel to those entities that require severance counsel and support.