Virginia is an at-will employment state. This means an employer can fire you without cause any time as long as the reason isn’t illegal or discriminatory. An unlawful reason includes age, race, pregnancy, gender discrimination, religion, or national origin. Although an employer has the right to terminate you, you can sue the employer for wrongful termination, or seek unemployment. One way to handle this is for your employer to offer you a separation agreement.
Separation agreements are legal documents that permit companies legally terminate an employee. Such contracts, like a non-compete agreement or non-disclosure agreement, also protect your employer from you disclosing any of the company’s confidential or proprietary information.
For example, a separation agreement can limit what you can say about the company. This includes sharing trade secrets or disparaging your former company in a business context. The agreement may also include limits on talking to the company’s current and former customers. It can also restrict you from starting your own business for a period of time if you intend to compete with your employer.
What Do Separation Agreements Contain?
Separation contracts spell out detailed obligations of the two parties:
- Whether compensation will be paid
- How payment will be made
- How vacation time will factor into compensation
- How accumulated sick days will be compensated
- How coverage of medical needs will be covered
- How retirement, profit sharing, and pension plans will be paid
- Other severance packages
- Consequences of violating the agreement
Employees generally agree that once employers make final compensation, they will not take any further legal action against their former employer.
How Can a Separation Agreement Attorney Help?
If you need help, contact HKM Employment Attorneys LLP. Our contract attorneys can review your separation agreement before you sign it. A lawyer will ensure that your separation agreement follows federal law and Virginia Commonwealth law.
If your employer is terminating you, contact our law office in Arlington, Virginia immediately. We work with clients across Northern Virginia, including Fairfax, Alexandria, McLean, and Falls Church. You can schedule a free consultation with our attorneys.
Or, if you’re a business looking to enter into a separation agreement or with an employee, HKM Employment Attorneys’ legal services will help you present a clear, legal contract. We can draft agreements, ensure the separation agreement is enforceable, and negotiate the terms. Call us today.