New York is an at-will state, which gives your employer the right to fire you at any time, for any reason – as long as they are not in violation of federal and state employment laws.
In some cases, your employer might choose to offer you a severance package and ask you to sign a severance agreement – signifying the end of your employment relationship. However, before signing any such agreement, it is important to have it reviewed by a New York severance agreement lawyer in order to make sure the terms and conditions do not violate your rights as an employee.
At Levine & Blit, we have a team of award-winning employment lawyers who have extensive experience in negotiating employment and severance agreements. We can review the agreement offered by your employer, determine if the terms violate federal or state employment laws, and negotiate a better agreement with your employer if necessary.
The first thing you should know about a severance agreement is that it is meant to benefit your employer – not you. Under New York law, employers are not legally obligated to provide you with a severance package while terminating you. If your employer still chooses to do so, it means that they want to protect their own interests.
For instance, the agreement might contain a non-compete provision which can prohibit you from accepting a job with your employer’s competitor. Similarly, it might contain a non-disparagement provision which might prohibit you from saying anything negative about your employer and your workplace.
Provisions of this type, depending on how they are worded – could infringe upon your rights under federal and state laws. Only a reliable and genuine New York severance agreement lawyer can determine whether the provisions are legally valid or not.
The most important reason why your employer might ask you to sign a severance agreement is to get you to waive your rights to sue them for discrimination or harassment. Once you sign the agreement, you might no longer be able to take legal action against them for violating your rights. This is why the New York severance agreement lawyers at Levine & Blit generally advise our clients to not sign any agreement or accept any package from their employer without knowing what they are giving up in return.
Layoffs and terminations can be stressful. You suddenly find yourself without a steady source of income and you may panic. If your company offers you a severance package or separation agreement, you may see it as an answer to your worries.
A severance package may not be the salvation you think it is. Before you sign a separation agreement it is highly recommended to have it reviewed by a lawyer. The New York City employment law attorneys at Levine & Blit have extensive experience with severance agreements. We can help you decipher the agreement and negotiate the terms before you sign it.
Don’t sign a severance agreement without consulting with an employment attorney. Contact our law firm today for a phone evaluation.
You may not realize it, but companies are not required to offer severance packages (unless stated in your initial employment contract). In most cases, the organizations aren’t offering the agreement for your benefit. It is for theirs.
Many organizations offer separation agreements in the hopes of avoiding lawsuits or other issues with disgruntled employees. They also pay their attorneys to carefully draft these agreements to include clauses often missed by an untrained eye.
Don’t unknowingly sign your rights away. Have your severance agreement reviewed by an attorney before you sign.
One of our employment lawyers can:
There is no such thing as a “standard agreement.” Each separation agreement is crafted to benefit a company’s specific needs. Companies offer you a settlement in hopes you will blindly sign the agreement and not realize what you are signing.
Severance agreements may include:
Don’t take a chance with your separation agreement. Speak with one of our New York City severance agreement attorneys by calling (212) 967-3000 before you sign.
If you did suffer from discrimination or harassment at your workplace, you are still entitled to pursue legal action. Depending how long you were harassed or discriminated and the nature and extent of the harassment or discrimination you were subjected to, you might be able to recover a substantial amount of compensation from your employer. The severance package offered by your employer might not even be a fraction of what you stand to recover if you file a lawsuit. Getting the agreement vetted by a reliable and accomplished lawyer is the only way to prevent losing out on what you deserve.
If you have been offered a severance package and agreement by your employer, the severance agreement lawyers at Levine & Blit can review it for you and make sure you are not signing away your rights as an employee.
Our attorneys are known for their extensive knowledge of federal and state employment laws, legal acumen, and negotiation skills. We can negotiate with your employer for a better severance package or take your harassment or discrimination case to court if needed in order to protect your rights and interests.