Severance Package Negotiation

When you are laid off from your job, life can become uncertain. You no longer have the income that you had counted on. Not only will you need to begin searching for another job, you may need to cut back on spending and make difficult adjustments in other areas of your life.

The good news is that you may be entitled to receive a generous severance package that can help you stay on your feet during this time of transition.

If you fear that you may be next in line for a pink slip, contact an lawyer to help. Because most severance packages are negotiable, being prepared for the worst can give you a leg up.

An Experienced Lawyer Can Help You Negotiate the Best Deal

No laws require a company to provide a severance package to employees who are laid off. However, most workplaces offer some form of severance. Sometimes severance terms are outlined in the employee handbook. Other employers may have a pattern of conduct for severance packages, even if the terms are not laid out in the handbook.

In addition, employers cannot discriminate based on race, sex, religion, or sexual orientation. If you believe that you received a lower compensation package than other coworkers due to discrimination, you should hire an attorney to represent your case. An experienced lawyer can help you obtain the compensation that you deserve.

Several factors help increase the amount of severance you may be eligible to receive upon a layoff:

  • The duration of employment. An employee who has worked for a company for many years is more likely to receive a higher compensation package than an employee who has worked for the company for six months.
  • The circumstances surrounding the termination. If you have been terminated for poor performance after receiving several warnings and tips for improvement, you may receive a smaller severance package than someone with a history of good job performance that is being let go due to downsizing.
  • Whether the employer has legal counsel. The intervention of legal counsel on the employer's behalf can affect whether a severance package is offered and on what terms.

In some circumstances, it may be in your best interest to remain employed by your current employer. If you receive a notice of layoff while you are in the middle of an important project, for example, you may be able to negotiate remaining until the project is complete. Although many employers fear that a laid-off worker will act unreasonably, some employers will allow an employee to finish a project. An employee can also volunteer to take up other roles that may be vacant due to layoffs and may even find another job at the company.

What to Do If You Have Been Laid Off

Once you receive your layoff notice, take some time to review the terms of the severance offer, but do not sign it immediately. Most companies include language in the severance contract that bars the terminated employee from filing any lawsuits against the company. They may also include a non-compete agreement. If you receive a severance offer, contact an Atlanta employment attorney to review the offer before you make any final decisions. Most agreements have plenty of room to negotiate better terms.

Under federal discrimination laws, laid-off employees are granted a period of time to review the documents. Employees over 40 have up to 21 days to review an agreement. The review period gives you time to negotiate terms that meet your needs, such as a bigger payout, extended health benefits, or other perks.

Contact Our Skilled Lawyers for Assistance

The attorneys at the law firm of Mays & Kerr are skilled at negotiating severance packages. Whether you are an employer or an employee, we provide reliable legal advice that helps maximize your chance of a positive legal outcome. Contact our lawyers today to learn how we can assist you in negotiating more favorable terms for your severance package.