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Decoding Severance Package: What Every Employee Should Know

what do severance packages look like

A severance package is a set of compensatory benefits and perks provided by an employer when an employee leaves the company – typically due to reasons like layoffs, termination without cause, or voluntary departure through resignation. It typically includes a lump sum payment and a wide range of monetary and non-monetary benefits – ranging from health insurance coverage to outplacement assistance.

While severance packages can certainly be beneficial, you must understand the intricacies of the package you are offered before you sign on the dotted line. Severance agreements are legally binding in New York and the terms and conditions can have far-reaching implications on your legal rights as an employee.

At Levine & Blit, we have a team of exceptionally qualified New York employment lawyers who have decades of experience in drafting and negotiating severance packages and agreements. We know what kind of unfair terms and provisions employers might try to sneak into these agreements and we know how to negotiate better terms. If you have been offered a severance package by your employer, we can review it and make sure it does not infringe upon your legal rights or affect your interests in any way.

Call us today at 646-461-6838 to schedule a free consultation with an experienced New York employment law attorney.

👉Also Read: Maximizing Your Rights: Why Signing a Severance Agreement Matters in Employment Law Cases

What Do Severance Packages Look Like?

The components of a severance package can vary depending on several factors like your employer’s policies, your job, your salary, length of employment, and the circumstances surrounding your departure. These might include:

Severance Pay

It’s a type of financial compensation offered to you at the time of termination. It can be a lump sum payment or can be paid in installments – depending on your employer’s policies and the terms of your employment contract. Severance payment is calculated based on different factors like length of employment, salary level, and company policy.

Continuation of Benefits

Your employer might continue to provide certain benefits to you for a specified period after you are terminated. The benefits typically include health insurance coverage, dental insurance coverage, and retirement plan contributions.

Outplacement Assistance

Your employer might provide outplacement services like career counseling, job search support, access to job placement resources, and networking opportunities to help you find new employment opportunities.

Non-Monetary Benefits

In addition to financial compensation, your employer might offer non-monetary benefits as part of your severance package. This could include career development opportunities, access to training programs, or assistance with relocation in case you need to move to a different city for a new job.

The Importance of Reviewing and Understanding the Provisions of Your Severance Agreement

Your severance agreement might contain several provisions that can impact your legal rights as an employee and restrict your employment opportunities. These include:

Waiver of Legal Rights: It’s a provision that requires you to waive your right to sue your employer for legal claims related to your employment and job termination. While New York General Obligations Law places several restrictions on employers regarding the provisions they can include in a severance agreement (particularly related to discrimination and sexual harassment), signing a waiver can make it extremely hard for you to sue your former employer.

Confidentiality Clause: It’s a provision that prohibits you from disclosing certain information about your employer, the company, its operations, its intellectual properties, and more.

Non-Disparagement Clause: It’s a provision that prohibits you from making derogatory or negative comments about your employer, the company, its employees, its products and services, and more.

Non-Compete Clause: It’s a provision that prohibits you from engaging in certain competitive activities that can harm your employer’s interests. These might include working for your employer’s direct competitors, companies in related industries, or companies operating in the same market or region.

👉Also Read: Securing Your Future: The Role of Law Offices in Severance Agreement Signings

Why You Should Consult with a New York Employment Attorney from Levine & Blit Before Accepting a Severance Package

Legal Compliance: We can review the terms of your severance agreement and make sure they comply with New York law and federal law.

Negotiating Better Terms: We can review the terms of your severance package and determine if there is room for negotiation. We can negotiate better terms including higher severance pay, extended insurance coverage, or additional non-monetary benefits.

Identifying Potential Legal Issues: We can identify any potential legal claims you might have against your employer like discrimination, retaliation, or breach of contract, and determine whether accepting the severance package can affect your right to pursue these claims in the future.

Maximizing Benefits: We can analyze your company policy, employment contract, and other relevant documents, determine the scope of benefits you are entitled to receive under the severance package, and make sure you receive all the benefits you are entitled to.

Protecting Your Rights and Interests: We can review the non-compete, non-disparagement, and confidentiality clauses in your severance agreement, determine whether they are too restrictive, and renegotiate the terms with your employer if necessary.

👉Also Read: Severance New York: What is an Attorney’s Role in a Severance Case?

Offered a Severance Package by Your Employer? Our New York Employment Attorneys Can Review It for You!

If you are facing termination and if your employer has asked you to sign a severance agreement, you need professional legal representation to make sure you do not sign away your rights. At Levine & Blit, we specialize in scrutinizing the fine print. We have extensive experience in drafting, reviewing, and negotiating severance agreements and various other employment and termination-related contracts. We know how to safeguard your legal rights and protect your interests.

Call us today or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free and confidential consultation with a top-rated New York employment lawyer.

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