Fresno Severance Agreement Lawyer
Many workers do not realize that they have a strong bargaining position when they are leaving their company. If there has been harassment or discrimination, a worker could sue the employer after turning in their final timesheet, harming the employer’s reputation. Workers also could possess business information, such as customer lists and trade secrets, which are very valuable.
We encourage employees to negotiate a favorable severance agreement, and we are happy to offer our services. A severance agreement is a contract between an employee and their employer, signed when the employee is leaving. It is vital to obtain the assistance of a seasoned Fresno severance agreements lawyer to make sure your rights are protected after you walk out the door.
How Employees Benefit from a Severance Agreement
As the departing employee, you might be concerned about when you are going to get your next job. A severance agreement can help tide you over in many ways, providing financial support and peace of mind. You might negotiate the following in your agreement:
- Severance pay. You can request money as either a lump sum or in installments. Many employee contracts state how much severance an employee is entitled to, but the amount is often negotiable.
- You can request that your employer pay certain benefits, such as health insurance, for a set period. Benefits could also include contributions to a retirement account.
- Job search assistance. Your employer might have resources to help you find a new job, or you could ask them to pay for the help of a job coach.
Ideally, employees should maximize the benefits and pay that they will receive, because they will have to give up important rights in return. When properly negotiated, a severance agreement can position an employee well for the remainder of their career.
Severance Agreements from an Employer’s Perspective
The employer’s goal is to limit risk. Departing employees could harm a company in many ways, so employers might request any of the following:
- A waiver of any right to sue. For example, an employee might agree not to sue for sexual harassment or racial discrimination.
- A non-disclosure agreement. The employee might agree not to speak about the employer to other people, such as the news media.
- A non-competition agreement. The employee could agree not to work for a competitor for a set amount of time. California Business and Professions Code section 16600 makes these illegal in most cases, though they are sometimes appropriate.
Severance agreements are strictly controlled by state law. Some employers try to sneak in illegal provisions, and we can point out which ones are illegal and unenforceable. All employers, however, drive a hard bargain, and an employee without representation might agree to give up too much for too little in return.
Enforcement of Severance Agreements
Either side might violate a severance agreement, and a lawsuit can result. For example, an employer might try to stop the ex-employee from working with a competitor. In other cases, the employer reneges on their agreement to pay benefits or even severance. Severance agreements often state how disputes will be handled—in mediation or arbitration, for example. They might also identify the remedies available for a breach of the agreement.
Contact a Fresno Severance Agreement Attorney Today
If you are negotiating a severance agreement, contact us. Scott Wagner and Associates, P.A. understands how employers view severance agreements, and we can use this knowledge to your benefit. Call us today to schedule a consultation with a member of our firm.