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California Employment Lawyer > Sacramento Severance Agreement Lawyer

Sacramento Severance Agreement Lawyer

A severance agreement is essentially a contract between an employer and an employee who is leaving. When done right, a severance agreement can work to the benefit of both the departing employee and an employer. However, some employers use severance agreements improperly and try to strip workers of their rights simply because they are leaving the company.

To ensure that you are adequately protected, you should hire your own attorney to negotiate a severance agreement on your behalf. This is not the time to expect an employer to treat you fairly. Instead, they probably see you as a liability risk, especially if there were allegations of impropriety or harassment. Contact a Sacramento severance agreements lawyer today to get started.

Benefits of a Severance Agreement for Employees

Departing employees and their employers have quite a bit of control over what goes in the severance agreement. However, there are some features that are common to most, and you need an attorney who is familiar with them. For example, most severance agreements include the following:

  • Severance pay. This is a sum of money that the employer gives you. It can be either in a lump sum or in installments over time. A worker should ideally get as much severance as they can, especially if they are unclear about their future employment prospects.
  • Continuation of benefits. Many employers will agree to pick up the tab on certain benefits, such as health insurance, for a set amount of time.
  • Retirement contribution. You can stay on track for retirement by having an employer continue to make contributions when you leave.
  • Job search assistance. Some employers are willing to help a departing employee find their next job. This can be a terrific benefit if your employer has a deep network.

The above are all elements that work to the benefit of the departing employee. However, severance agreements are contracts, and as with all contracts employees usually give up something in return.

What the Employer Wants in a Severance Agreement

In exchange for severance pay and job assistance, an employer might request any of the following:

  • Waiver not to sue the employer for possibly illegal conduct, like harassment.
  • Non-disclosure agreement, where you agree not to talk about the employer to the news media or other people.
  • Non-competition agreement, where you agree not to work for a competitor for a certain amount of time or to contact the employer’s clients for business purposes.

California law limits what an employer can request in a severance agreement. For example, Ca. Civil Code § 1670.11 prohibits any language in an agreement that bars someone from testifying in certain proceedings regarding sexual harassment or criminal conduct. Some employers nevertheless overreach when drafting their agreements, and unwary workers are unaware of their rights.

Speak with a Sacramento Severance Agreements Lawyer

A severance agreement might be the most important contract an employee ever signs. When done right, workers can set themselves up to flourish after leaving a job. When done wrong, employees hamstring their ability to move on with their careers.

Contact Scott Wagner and Associates, P.A. today to discuss severance negotiations.

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* Cathleen Scott is licensed to practice in Florida only.

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