Severance Agreement Lawyers
When laying off or terminating an employee, a company will frequently offer the employee a severance agreement or severance package. The agreement will typically offer cash payments or an extension of benefits if the employee signs.
Employees receiving such offers should not fall under the impression that these agreements are proffered out of goodwill. The employer is seeking for the employee to sign away certain rights. An attorney can advise the employee on the ramifications and negotiate a better deal.
Talk to A Severance Agreements Attorney
If you have been offered a severance agreement, it is important that you not sign it right away. You should have a skilled Philadelphia severance agreement lawyer review the agreement. Your attorney may be able to seek a better deal for you. At Console Mattiacci Law, LLC, we advise and represent employees on severance packages. Call us today at 215-545-7676 to schedule a consultation.
Elements of a Severance Package
Typically, a severance package will offer certain benefits as an incentive to the employee. These may include cash payments, extension of benefits and letters of recommendation. They may also include provisions that would otherwise contradict company policy. For instance, in most circumstances, an employee may not receive a payout of vacation or sick time but can receive it under the agreement.
You should be especially wary if the Agreement contains covenants not to compete. In these agreements, the employee may agree not to work for competitors. This can severely limit an employee’s job prospects and badly damage his or her future.
Waiver of Claims and Required Disclosures
A severance agreement may ask an employee to waive certain or all claims against the employer, or not participate in lawsuits against the employer. It may also set requirements for binding arbitration.
Employees should be very well-informed before agreeing to such clauses and be aware of everything they might be missing out on.
Some rights under law cannot be waived by a severance agreement. These include certain rights under the Fair Labor Standards Act, which regulates minimum wage and overtime pay, and the Family and Medical Leave Act.
Additionally, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) contains specific requirements for disclosure for any waiver to be valid under 29 U.S.C. § 626(f). Among others, the law requires that the severance agreement allows for 45 days to review the document if any incentive is offered for the exit, and requires that the employee is advised to consult an attorney. If all the requirements are not followed, the agreement may be invalid. The ADEA applies to workers 40 and older.
If you have signed a severance agreement that included an invalid waiver of claims, you may, regardless, pursue the claim.
Console Mattiacci Law, LLC | Attorneys for Severance Agreements
If you have been asked to sign a severance agreement, you may be signing away critical rights. A severance agreement lawyer from Console Mattiacci Law, LLC will carefully review your agreement, advise you of all possible consequences and can negotiate the best possible settlement for you. Call us today at 215-545-7676 to schedule a consultation.