If you have been offered a severance package that you do not think is fair, speak with an experienced lawyer who knows the ins and outs of business law. Employers often make a first offer that is low on financial compensation and benefits, so it is never a good idea to accept the initial severance package.
In addition to a lump sum of money to be paid when you part ways, severance packages can include other benefits, legal stipulations, and the requirement that your employer provide you with good references as you look for your next job. Review your offer carefully together with a lawyer to ensure that you understand what you are signing and that it includes the types of benefits you need and deserve.
Under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA), you are guaranteed the right to continue your health insurance, but you will carry the entire cost of the premium yourself. If this sum is extremely high, you can negotiate that your employer help you cover the cost for a few months until you have begun a new job with new health insurance.
Job Placement Assistance
If this has not been included in your severance package, ask what service your employer can offer to employees who move on to other jobs.
Non-Compete and Non-Solicit Clauses
Your employer may ask you to sign a non-compete clause that prevents you from going to work for competitors or otherwise restricts your employment opportunities for a certain period of time after you leave. A non-solicit clause means you may not hire other employees away when you leave.
Be sure you know what you are signing regarding these types of legal stipulations, and negotiate to have them changed if you do not agree with them.
Often, this clause is included in a severance package to limit what you can say or write about your employer, including on social media posts, as you leave the company. However, this agreement should go both ways so that your employer cannot say or write about you in a negative fashion.
Additionally, you should get a guarantee in writing that you will be provided with references for a new job. You can even negotiate the exact the wording of the reference letter.
Release From Legal Action
As part of a severance package, you will be asked to sign a waiver that releases all employment-related claims you may have against your employer and its employees for anything that happened prior to the date of signing. Often, it also limits any future claims to the arbitration process, which means you cannot file a claim in court.
Annapolis Business Lawyers at Oliveri & Larsen Can Help You With a Severance Package
Our Annapolis business lawyers at Oliveri & Larsen have the knowledge and experience you need to negotiate the severance package that you deserve. Call us at 401-295-3000 or contact us online to schedule an appointment. Located in Annapolis, Maryland, we serve clients across Ocean City, Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Baltimore City, Calvert County, Hartford County, Howard County, Queen Anne’s County, St. Mary’s County, Worcester County, Kent County, and the upper and lower Eastern Shores of Maryland.