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Seasoned Legal Guidance for Ensuring Your Rights in Los Angeles Severance Agreements

If your employment relationship has run its course, you may be entitled to a severance package. Employers will offer severance in a variety of circumstances; and, as an employee, understanding what is available to you is important. It is also important to understand the risks of signing a severance agreement; and, before you sign anything, you should seek advice from an experienced Los Angeles severance agreement lawyer.

All of our lawyers have significant experience representing employees in severance agreement negotiations. We can help you understand if you are entitled to a severance package; and, if so, we can negotiate with your employer and its legal department on your behalf. When negotiating your severance agreement, we will focus not only on maximizing the value of your severance package, we will also make sure you do not unnecessarily give up any of your legal rights as well.

Understanding Why Companies Offer Severance Packages

There are four main reasons why companies offer severance packages. If you are being offered severance, understanding why will be important for making informed decisions during your negotiations. Likewise, if you believe you are entitled to severance, being able to articulate the reason for your severance demand will be crucial for opening negotiations and avoiding unnecessary conflicts.

The four main reasons why companies offer severance packages are:

  • An Employment Contract Provides for Severance Pay – Severance agreement negotiations frequently arise out of employment contracts. If you have an employment contract that includes a provision for severance, Attorneys for Employees can help ensure that you receive all of the compensation and benefits to which you are legally entitled.
  • The Employer Has a Policy that Provides for Severance – Some employers have internal policies that provide for severance. If your employer has a severance policy, reviewing this policy will be a key first step in the process of negotiating your severance agreement.
  • The Employer is Seeking to Avoid Litigation – Employers also frequently use severance agreements as a tool for avoiding future litigation. In many cases, employers will offer severance packages to employees who they are concerned may file claims for harassment, discrimination sexual harassment, or wrongful termination.

An important fact to understand about severance agreements is that they are not solely for the benefit of employees. Employers also use severance agreements to secure protections for themselves. If you are not careful, you could waive rights that entitled you to financial compensation above and beyond the value of your severance package—and this is one of several reasons why it is important to have an experienced Los Angeles severance agreement lawyer on your side.

Negotiating the Terms of Your Severance Agreement

When we negotiate severance agreements for employees in Los Angeles, we take a comprehensive and structured approach that ensures we thoroughly address all pertinent considerations. In a typical severance agreement negotiation, we will address terms such as:

  • Severance Pay – Severance pay is understandably a key consideration for many employees. While there are certain industry standards, it is important to negotiate a payout that reflects your contributions to your employer’s success, any potential claims you may be waiving the right to pursue, and a multitude of other factors.
  • PostSeverance Benefits – Employees can use severance agreement negotiations to preserve their access to benefits post-severance. This includes health insurance and life insurance benefits, among others.
  • Stock Options – If you have stock options that are not yet fully vested, you may also be able to use your severance agreement negotiations to cash out these options or ensure that you will be able to exercise your options at a specific date in the future.
  • References – In many cases, it will make sense for employees to obtain references as part of the severance agreement negotiation process. This avoids the need to ask for a reference later, and it avoids the risk of receiving a negative reference or needing to explain why your former employer won’t provide a recommendation.
  • Confidentiality and Non-Disparagement – Employers will frequently include confidentiality and non-disparagement clauses in their proposed severance agreements. While it will often be reasonable for an employee to agree to certain confidentiality and non-disparagement obligations, it is important to make sure you do not agree to anything that unduly restricts your ability to start your own business or pursue alternate employment.
  • Waiver and Release – As discussed above, employers also use severance agreements to protect themselves from the risk of litigation. Here too, while it may be in your best interest to negotiate a severance package and sign a waiver and release, you need to be very careful to ensure that you do not prevent yourself from recovering the financial compensation you deserve.

When you contact Attorneys for Employees about your severance agreement, we will arrange for you to speak with a lawyer at our offices in Los Angeles one-on-one. Your lawyer will explain your options and risks in detail and help you make informed decisions about how best to move forward. Your lawyer will also handle your severance agreement negotiations on your behalf (while keeping you involved and informed every step of the way); and, if any issues arise during the negotiation process, your lawyer will be able to handle these for you as well.  

Schedule a Call with a Los Angeles Severance Agreement Lawyer

If you would like to speak with a lawyer about negotiating your severance agreement, we encourage you to get in touch. To schedule a call with a Los Angeles severance agreement lawyer at Attorneys for Employees, request an appointment online today.