Our San Jose Employment Lawyer Addresses Severance Agreements
Employers and employees sometimes ask our San Jose employment lawyer about the proper procedures when an individual is let go. In certain situations, terminating an individual can be especially uncomfortable. Your employer might have made some questionable decisions when supervising you, but even if you think you have done everything by the book, you may need solid legal counsel from a seasoned San Jose employment lawyer.
Release of Liability
When you have been terminated, you can ask your employer to sign a release of liability, which states that he or she will not sue the company in return for certain concessions on your part. Employers generally include a release when an employee accepts a severance package along with the related benefits. Additional incentives might be included in order to make the deal even more attractive to the departing employee.
Drafting a Severance Release
Some states spell out specific technical terms about what to include in a severance agreement, so you might want to seek the help of a knowledgeable San Jose employment lawyer. The following conditions of severance usually apply:
The employer must offer the employee something, usually financial compensation, in return for the promise not to sue him/her. If two employees are both offered a severance package, but only one agrees not to sue, that person should receive some type of extra benefit. Clearly spell out what you will give the person.
The agreements often elaborate on what rights the employee is giving up. You need to understand all aspects of the release. Our San Jose employment lawyer can help you properly draw up the agreement so that it is comprehensive and protects your interests.
You need time, generally from one to two weeks, to make a decision about the agreement. You might also be encouraged to contact an attorney for further advice about options.
The process of offering an employee a severance agreement should avoid any appearance of coercion. In addition, avoid threats or intimidation. If the person does not voluntarily sign the release, the courts will not honor it. You do not want to go through the trouble of drawing up a release just to have it later tossed out of court.
Specific Rules for Employees 40 and Older
If the individual is 40 and older, federal law addresses what an employment release must cover. The Older Workers Benefits Protection Act affords the person a longer time to make a decision about the release, grants certain revocation privileges and includes a written recommendation for the employee to contact a lawyer about the severance release and any related rights. Our attorney can help protect you during this process.