Referred to commonly as a separation agreement or a settlement agreement, this type of legal document governs the end of an employment arrangement. In general terms, a separation agreement dictates the boundaries of employee and employer conduct after the parties end their relationship. The employer will frequently provide a severance package to the employee, in exchange for certain non-competition considerations. The separation agreement may require the employee to give up the right to sue the employer.
HKM Employment Attorneys LLP in St. Louis, Missouri, features the knowledge and dexterity to help employees negotiate a favorable settlement. As separation agreements can come in many shapes and sizes, the lawyers at HKM Employment Attorneys analyze each situation on a discrete basis. If you are an employee in need of legal assistance with a separation agreement, contact us as soon as possible.
Determining the Suitability of a Separation Agreement in Missouri
On a statewide level, Missouri laws provide for at-will employment. This means that any party to an employment agreement can terminate the agreement at any time for any reason. Neither the employer nor the employee is responsible for giving notice or providing any special considerations, such as a separation agreement.
Despite the at-will nature of Missouri employment law, employers and employees execute separation agreements on a regular basis. Please find below an overview of common situations where separation agreements may be appropriate.
- Restrictive Covenants: The employer may offer to pay the employee in exchange for signing a non-disclosure, non-competition or non-solicitation agreement.
- Waiver of Claims: The employer may offer to pay the employee in exchange for waiving the right to pursue legal action against the employer.
- Dispute Resolution: The employer may offer to pay the employee in exchange for resolving a dispute, such as a lawsuit for retaliation.
Negotiating Appropriate Settlements for Employees in St. Louis
In many cases, employers hesitate to offer an unsolicited separation agreement. These employers hope to end the employment relationship without providing any additional compensation to employees. With the proper encouragement, however, employers can see the long-term benefits of a separation agreement, including:
- Clear Roadmap: The separation agreement will underline the precise duties and responsibilities of each party, leaving no room for interpretation; and
- Peace of Mind: The separation agreement can eliminate the chance of ongoing legal actions, removing the need to worry about future lawsuits.
Contact a Missouri Employment Attorney for Assistance
Wherever possible, it is in the employee’s best interest to negotiate a separation agreement with their former employer. In addition to financial compensation, separation agreements provide a clear picture of post-employment duties and responsibilities. With demonstrated capabilities in the field of labor and employment law, HKM Employment Attorneys can help you figure out whether to pursue a separation agreement. If you have legal questions, please do not hesitate to contact us for help.