New Jersey Severance Negotiations
When there is a layoff or termination of employment, employers will frequently offer employees severance pay. Generally, this will be memorialized in an agreement that requires the employee to, among other things, release any and all legal claims that the employee may have against the employer in exchange for the severance pay. In many instances, such agreements include non-disparagement, confidentiality, non-compete, and non-solicitation clauses. As such, it is vital that employees retain legal counsel to ensure that they fully understand their obligations under the agreement as well as any rights that they may be waiving. New Jersey Employment lawyers at CMS have significant experience counseling employees on severance agreements and negotiating severance packages, and are here to guide you through these complex legal issues.
What is a Severance Package?
At its core, a severance agreement is an agreement between an employer and the departing employee where the departing employee releases potential legal claims against the employer in exchange for receiving monetary benefits to which the employee would not otherwise be entitled.
The agreement is valuable to both an employer and an employee. From an employer’s perspective, obtaining a release of potential legal claims by the departing employee is the only vehicle that assures that the departing employee will not bring legal action against the employer regarding the employee’s separation of employment. From an employee’s perspective, severance allows the employee to obtain additional compensation while transitioning to new employment.
Under What Circumstances are Severance Packages Awarded?
In general, severance packages are presented to employees upon their separation of employment. Typically, this occurs when there is a reduction in force, layoff, or employment termination.
Common Components of a Severance Package
Typically, severance agreements include various core provisions. Among such provisions usually included in severance agreements are a general release of claims, non-disparagement language, confidentiality language, and choice of law/choice of forum provisions.
In addition, severance agreements may include confidentiality, non-compete, and non-solicitation clauses. Since severance agreements involve the waiver of important legal rights, it is a good practice for employees to consult with an attorney prior to signing such an agreement.
The Role of an Employment Attorney in Severance Negotiations
When an employee is separated from their employment and is offered a severance package, it can be confusing for the employee. On the one hand, the employee most likely will benefit from the severance pay to help ease with the transition to a new job. On the other hand, the severance agreement will likely include language that imposes certain post-employment obligations on the employee and waives the employee’s rights to seek legal remedies.
Accordingly, it is important to retain a trusted employment attorney to ensure you fully understand your obligations under the agreement, any rights that you may be waiving, and whether there may be leverage to negotiate a more lucrative severance package.
A trusted employment attorney is a valuable asset when you are presented with a severance agreement. An attorney can assist with understanding the complex legal provisions contained in the severance agreement and can answer your questions about why certain provisions are included in the severance agreement. Most significantly, consultation with a trusted employment attorney is important for you to understand whether the facts surrounding the separation of employment may give rise to potential legal remedies. If so, a trusted employment attorney can engage in severance negotiations on your behalf.
Knowing Your Rights
It is important for you to understand whether the severance package offered to you is fair and reasonable. That is why it is important to consult with a trusted employment lawyer to get an understanding of the facts surrounding the separation of employment to determine whether there is leverage to negotiate a better severance package.
Navigate your Severance Negotiations with Our Experienced New Jersey Employment Attorneys
Separation of employment is often a very traumatic experience for an employee. When a severance package is offered to you, it can be very confusing given the complex legal provisions contained in the severance agreement presented to you. In such circumstances, it is important for you to understand whether the severance package offered to you is fair and reasonable. That is why it is important to retain an experienced, trusted severance negotiation attorney. The New Jersey employment lawyers at CMS use their vast experience to strongly advocate for their clients and provide strategic legal advice to help them navigate through severance reviews and negotiations. If you need assistance with severance review and/or negotiations, please contact Curcio Mirzaian Sirot LLC.