What Should You Know About the Severance Agreement You Just Received or are Hoping to Get?


Severance is a business decision. Unless your employer has a severance policy and your departure falls within the terms of the policy, you are not entitled to severance. For employees being offered severance, the document should be reviewed prior to your signing the agreement. There are numerous factors to be aware of prior to accepting the document you receive so you understand your rights, obligations and entitlements going forward. Read through some of the questions below and contact Sheree Donath at 516-804-0274 or at sheree@donathlaw.com to discuss the answers or to find out more information about your specific situation.

Do you want the severance agreement to say your termination date or that you resigned or that you are entering into this agreement based on mutual agreement?

How long do you have to sign the agreement? Can you revoke your signature once you sign?

Are you entitled to unemployment benefits?

What terms should be found in the severance agreement?

Are you entitled to continued health coverage and if so, will the company pay for this?

Are you entitled to a bonus or a pro-rata bonus?

Are you entitled to earned and accrued commissions? How are commissions calculated and paid out?

Why is there a non-disparagement clause in the agreement and why isn’t it mutual?

Why is there a release of claims in the agreement and why isn’t it mutual?

What kind of cooperation am I required to provide?

Am I still bound by my non-compete/ non-solicitation agreement?

When will I receive payments under this agreement?

Is the agreement mitigated and under what circumstances? Should I be comfortable with the agreement having a mitigation clause?

Can the agreement be negotiated?

The above are just a few of the many questions and concerns that need to be addressed prior to executing the severance agreement. They are a very common practice by employers but are not guaranteed and are not offered to all. A severance agreement is a binding contract. If you want assistance after you received a severance agreement or want to find out if you might be able to enhance the offer click here.

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