Know your rights before you sign a severance agreement
Being terminated and handed a severance agreement is a lot to take in all at once. At a time when you’re confused, upset and vulnerable, employers typically will pressure you to sign and return the agreement quickly. First, you should know that you do not have to act immediately. Second, we can help you decide what to do. Note: if you are over 40 and have already signed a severance agreement, see below.
Knowing the law gives you power
Texas is an “at-will” state, meaning that a company can fire you at will – and it has no legal requirement to pay you severance. So why would the company want to pay you? The main motivation is to obtain a release from any claims you may have against the company. Most severance agreements contain these releases.
You should not sign without having your unique circumstances analyzed from a legal standpoint. Our employment experts can look at all the facts and help determine if you have a valid legal claim, perhaps a claim that is quite strong. Having a legal claim constitutes value, and that gives you power in negotiating your severance agreement to obtain additional pay. This may be the case for you, and we are determined to help you find out.
Beware of slip-in clauses
Often, employers will use the severance agreement as an opportunity to slip in sections that have nothing to do with severance, such as a non-compete provision. Every word in that agreement means something, and once it’s signed, it’s binding. Before you sign, let our employment law specialists review every detail and help ensure you’re not agreeing to something that could hurt you.
Put us in your corner
Engage Gardner Employment Law and we will aggressively advocate on your behalf. First, we will review all the circumstances leading up to your termination and conduct an analysis of the severance agreement. We have handled hundreds of severance cases and understand these documents to the finest detail. We can explain each provision and its legal ramifications, identify any points that could present problems for you, suggest revisions you can take to your employer, and determine if you may have a legal claim.
With our decades of employment law experience, we know the amount of severance pay and benefits you should be offered based on your industry, company and position. If we determine that the offer you have is inadequate, you can engage us to conduct a severance negotiation to help you get all the protection and compensation that you’re entitled to and deserve. We have done this for hundreds of professionals and executives, taking on the biggest of corporations. If you’re handed a severance agreement, make the right call. Start with us.
If you've already signed and you're over 40
There is a provision in the law that permits anyone who is 40 or over to revoke a severance agreement within seven days after signing it. That law prevents an employer from forcing an older employee to make a difficult decision on the spot and sign away his or her rights. After the grace period, the agreement becomes a binding contract. If you are faced with this situation, contact us immediately.