Our Connecticut employment attorneys provide knowledgeable advice and counseling to executives and employees relating to their severance agreements, employment termination agreements, and severance pay packages. Oftentimes, employees are in need of counseling in connection with company events, including layoffs, downsizing, mergers and acquisitions, or the involuntary termination of employment.
Most severance agreements include some type of compensation that an employee desires, but the trade-off may come with provisions that could prevent you from taking your next job, such as clauses for non-competition, non-solicitation, and confidentiality. You should understand the scope and extent of these provisions before accepting compensation.
If your employment has been involuntarily terminated, or if you have questions about your legal rights as an employee, it’s important that you seek review and possible negotiation of your severance agreement. We can help you make informed decisions regarding the monetary and nonmonetary terms of your severance agreement.
Counseling Individuals With Their Severance Pay Packages
If you have been offered a severance agreement, it is in your best interest to have the agreement reviewed by an experienced employment attorney. Employers will expect you to have the agreement reviewed, and, many times, they will include a provision in the agreement that either requires or recommends attorney review.
There are provisions that employees might not expect in severance agreements. Such provisions almost always include a full release of all claims in favor of the employer. In other words, by signing the agreement, a terminated employee could be waiving all rights to bring a claim for wrongful termination or unpaid compensation.
A careful review and analysis of a severance agreement will help to ensure that available compensation is paid by a former employer in return for an employee’s release of employment claims. In ordinary situations, an employer in Connecticut is not required to offer severance. Nevertheless, some employers offer severance to an employee for years of service or to close the door on the possibility of litigation. Furthermore, some employment situations may require severance pursuant to an employment contract.
Considerations and Tips for Employees with Severance Packages
The following represent some of the considerations for employees when reviewing your severance contract:
- Financial compensation, such as severance, commission, bonus, deferred compensation, accrued vacation time, stock award or options, profit sharing, or unpaid expenses
- Insurance, including COBRA, life, disability, and automobile, as well as any possible extension of benefits
- Confidentiality for the provisions of the agreement
- Non-disparagement, including provisions that you and your employer will not disparage each other
- Job placement resources to assist with finding new employment
Attorney Conference and Severance Negotiation
We typically handle severance agreement review with a flat fee price. We will meet with you in person or talk on the phone and go over the agreement line by line. We also will look for background information to determine if you have the leverage to negotiate a better deal. If you decide to negotiate the agreement, we may include that in our initial fee or request a new arrangement. We will handle negotiations directly with your employer or behind the scenes by providing advice to assist you.
If you need counsel to review your severance agreement in Connecticut, please contact us for more information.