Skip to Content

Sometimes, due to reasons beyond an employee’s control, their employment is terminated. When this happens, it is not uncommon for the employer to offer a severance package. The terms of a severance package are negotiable in many instances. It is in the best interest of the employee to have experienced counsel represent them throughout the process. At Attorneys for Employees (AFE), our attorneys understand the nuances of severance agreements and are well-versed in providing advice and counsel to help our clients make informed decisions.

The Purpose of Severance Agreements

Although not generally required unless explicitly stated in an employment contract, severance agreements exist to provide an employee with compensation and extended benefits for their job loss while simultaneously providing the employer some legal protections that greatly benefit them. Most severance agreements contain provisions providing the employer with some legal protection against future litigation, including:

  • Retaliation
  • Discrimination
  • Non-compete clauses
  • Failure to pay wages owed

In addition, the parties may be bound by confidentiality and restricted from speaking disparagingly about each other.

Terms of Severance Agreements

Severance agreement terms vary widely depending on several factors, including:

  • The length of the term of employment
  • The reason for the termination of employment
  • The job responsibilities and performance of the employee
  • What consideration the employer is receiving in exchange for the benefits offered to the employee in the severance agreement
  • The salary of the employee

Matters to Consider When Negotiating Severance Agreements

There are various matters to consider when an employer offers a severance package. Some of them are listed below:

  • When an employer offers a severance agreement, always remember they are expecting something in return for what they are offering. An employee needs to be certain they understand exactly what that is. 
  • An employee is under no obligation to accept the first offer from their employer. In reality, the more pressure a company places on the employee to quickly sign the severance agreement, the more important it is to have the agreement reviewed by a knowledgeable employment law attorney. 
  • While monetary compensation is usually the first thing that comes to an employee’s mind, it may be in their best interest to think outside of the box by considering other benefits they can request. Continuation of medical insurance, contributions to retirement plans, job placement services and career counseling are valuable bargaining chips to enhance the value of a severance package.

Let Us Handle the Hard Part – Contact a California Severance Agreement Attorney Today

If your employment has been terminated and your employer wants to offer you a severance agreement, don’t try to negotiate the terms of the agreement on your own. It is likely your employer will be represented by professionals who are trying to offer you as little as possible to protect their bottom line. Instead, contact our firm and let our lawyers make certain you receive everything you deserve. You may do this by filling out our intake form.