What Are the Basics to a Severance Agreement?

Mar 23, 2023 — by Chris Olsen
Tags: Employment Severance Agreements Separation Lay Offs Contracts

As an employee, there are several important things that you should look for in a separation agreement. Here are some key points to consider:

  1. Severance pay: The separation agreement should clearly state the amount of severance pay you will receive, as well as any conditions or restrictions on receiving it.

  2. Non-compete clauses: Check whether the agreement contains any non-compete clauses that could limit your future job prospects. These clauses typically prohibit you from working for a competitor for a certain period of time after leaving your current employer.

  3. Confidentiality clauses: Look for any clauses that require you to keep the terms of the separation agreement confidential, as well as any other confidential information you may have obtained during your employment.

  4. Release of claims: The agreement may include a release of claims clause, which means that you give up your right to sue your employer for any reasons related to your employment. Make sure you understand what this means and whether you are comfortable with it.

  5. Reference and job search assistance: The agreement may provide for reference and job search assistance. Review these clauses carefully to ensure that they are fair and reasonable.

  6. Insurance and benefits: The agreement should detail whether you will continue to receive any health or other benefits, and for how long.

  7. Tax implications: Be aware of any tax implications associated with the separation agreement, such as the tax treatment of your severance pay.

  8. Legal advice: Consider whether you need legal advice before signing the agreement. Depending on the circumstances, it may be in your best interest to consult with an attorney who specializes in employment law.

About Olsen Law Offices, APC: Olsen Law Offices specializes in employment litigation in all areas of employment law. Olsen Law Offices has extensive experience litigating matters concerning wrongful termination, retaliation, harassment and hostile work environment, workplace defamation, gender discrimination, race discrimination, sexual orientation discrimination, and disability discrimination. Moreover, Olsen Law Offices has extensive experience in wage and hour cases as single-employee cases, class actions, and actions under the Private Attorneys General Act (“PAGA”). 

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