Pospis Law provides representation in connection with the review and negotiation of employee severance agreements.
Many are surprised to learn that New York law does not include a general requirement that an employer pay a departing employee severance. Rather, severance pay is usually provided in one of two circumstances: (1) it is a term of the employment contract/agreement, assuming one exists; or (2) a negotiated severance in exchange for a “release” of potential claims.
Most, if not all, severance agreements contain a provision, typically called a “Release”, which (as its name suggests) “releases” the employer from liability for legal claims, such as those arising under the anti-discrimination laws. If there are facts suggesting that you may have one or more legal (e.g., discrimination, harassment, or retaliation) claims, this may be a basis for negotiating a more favorable offer. The agreement also may contain other provisions and restrictions, such as those relating to your future employment (so-called restrictive covenants such as a non-competition and/or non-solicitation clauses), confidentiality, and non-disparagement.
If you are presented with a severance agreement, it is crucial that you understand what is being offered – and, more importantly, what you are being asked to give up in exchange – before signing it.
We offer (by appointment only) a flat-fee severance agreement review and initial consultation, totaling one hour, in which we can (among other things):
- Help you parse and understand the agreement’s terms, which may seem like impenetrable, dense “legalese”;
- Discuss your specific circumstances as they relate to the proposed agreement; and
- Discuss your rights and whether there is a potential basis for negotiating one or more terms of the agreement, including the separation amount.
If, at the end of the consultation, you would like to retain us to provide further services and/or represent you in negotiations with your employer, we can discuss that as well, including the scope of services and fees we would charge for them.
Contact us today to discuss your legal rights.