Some Boston businesses will offer departing employees severance agreements. While the details may vary, these types of contracts commonly include an offer of a severance package in exchange for the employee waiving their right to file any future claims against the company.
For this reason, if your employer offers you a severance agreement, you should have an experienced employment lawyer review the proposal before signing it. Depending on the circumstance surrounding your departure, you can negotiate for more compensation and ensure you get the best possible deal.
At HKM Employment Attorneys, we are dedicated to helping Boston employees receive the compensation and treatment that they deserve. We’ll be happy to review your agreement and support you through the negotiation process.
Should I Have a Lawyer Look At My Severance Agreement?
Hiring an experienced employment lawyer increases your chance of getting a better severance package. We help you break through the legal jargon so you can gain a clear understanding of what is being offered and where you may have room to negotiate.
However, attorneys aren’t just important for reviewing the contract. If you’re being offered a severance pay contract where you are asked to waive your right to file a lawsuit, a lawyer will help ensure you are getting a fair deal. By analyzing your legal claims, a legal representative can compare the value of your lawsuit to the severance package offer.
For instance, if your employer offers a severance package worth $25,000 and the legal claims are worth around the same amount, it makes sense to accept the severance package. However, if the employer offers a $25,000 package while the legal claim is worth more than $50,000, then your employment lawyer may suggest that you negotiate for a more lucrative offer.
Can I Sue for Severance Pay?
While severance packages are often considered optional, there are some circumstances where it may be appropriate to sue for severance pay. These include:
If you don’t get what you’re owed: If you already had a severance entitlement included in your original employment contract, then you are legally entitled to that compensation, and your employer does not have a right to withhold it from you. You are not legally obligated to sign an additional contract in order to receive the severance that you’re already owed.
However, if your employer is offering you additional or increased severance pay in return for waiving your right to file a claim, then that may be something you want to consider with the help of a Boston employment lawyer.
If you were coerced to sign: Any valid contract should be signed voluntarily. You shouldn’t be coerced into signing an agreement to get the benefits from the severance package.
If you don’t know what the agreement was about: Generally, it is expected that anyone signing an agreement should understand the terms and conditions stated therein. However, if the release package is vague, poorly crafted, or incomplete, the court may rule in your favor.
To avoid this situation, you should consult with an employment lawyer before signing any agreement with your employer.
If you were not informed of your rights under ADEA: Employers asking employees to sign for severance packages because of age or personal injury should follow guides outlined by the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). Courts can invalidate the agreement if the employer doesn’t abide by these rules.
Do I Need a Lawyer to Negotiate Severance?
Due to limited knowledge, most workers will likely accept the first severance offer their employers give them. After all, most jobs in Boston do not offer any form of pay package when terminating an employment contract.
In order to ensure you get the best deal possible, you should discuss the offer with an employment law attorney who is familiar with severance packages. A lawyer like those at HKM Employment Attorneys will act as your advocate throughout the negotiation process and ensure that you’re fully informed about what your ultimate decision will mean for you.
How Do You Figure Out Severance Pay?
The amount of severance pay is usually calculated according to the years you have worked with the PLLC company. Hourly-wage employees are often offered one week’s pay for every year they worked with the company. Therefore, if you have worked for five years with the company, you will get five week’s pay as severance based on your current pay rate.
On the other hand, salaried employees are offered two week’s pay for every year they work for the company. To get an idea of how much severance pay you can expect, divide your annual salary by 52 to get weekly rates, and then multiply by the total number of weeks you’ve worked.
Get Legal Help from A Boston Severance Pay Lawyer
At HKM Employment Attorneys, our law firm handles legal issues surrounding severance pay and workplace conflict. We can put our years of experience to work for you, reviewing your severance pay contract and giving you the confidence you need to successfully negotiate the ideal package for your interests.