What Terms Should be Included in a Severance Agreement?

Businesswoman sitting with employment agreement in front of her.

At some point in their career, many employees are offered a severance agreement. If you anticipate that you may be terminated from your position or you are given notice by your employer of a termination, it is critical that certain terms are included in your separation agreement. At the Maura Greene Law Group, our team of employment attorneys are here to assist you in reviewing and negotiating a severance agreement that includes the necessary terms to protect your reputation and all you have earned. To learn more about how we can help, call or contact our firm today to schedule a consultation.

What is a Severance Agreement?

A severance agreement is a legal contract that dictates the terms of an employee’s termination as well as the rights and responsibilities of both the employee and employer. This agreement describes the benefits provided to the employee for signing the document. In return, the employee agrees to waive any claims against their employer, including claims for discrimination, retaliation, or wrongful termination. There are many benefits that an employee may negotiate into a severance agreement, and engaging the help of an experienced employment law attorney can help protect the employee’s rights.

What Terms Should be Included?

The terms of a severance package are often negotiable. Severance pay is one of the most significant terms in a severance package. Depending on the nature of the employment, the employer may be required to provide severance pay. Even if an employer is not required to provide severance pay, it may be included in a package in exchange for the waiver of potential claims against the employer. In addition to severance pay, there are other monetary and non-monetary terms that potentially may be negotiated, including provisions to protect the employee’s reputation and ability to find other employment. 

A severance agreement may also include terms regarding medical benefits under COBRA. Typically, a terminated employee is entitled to continue using an employer’s health care plan for up to 18 months after being let go. The employee may be able to negotiate for a payment to cover the premium costs or request that additional benefits be included.

An attorney may also negotiate the language of non-disparagement or non-compete clauses included in a severance agreement. Many non-disparagement clauses are drafted by the Company to protect the employer and not the employee.  Non-compete clauses can also be so broad and vague that they can preclude the employee from finding work in their field.  An experienced employment law attorney can advise you on what terms may be revised in order to maximize your compensation and benefits, protect your reputation, and your ability to find work in the future. 

Talk to Our Office Now

If you would like to speak with a legal expert in the Boston area about negotiating your severance agreement and learn more about what should be included, call the office or contact us today to schedule an evaluation of your case with the Maura Greene Law Group.

The Not So Fine Print:
We see patterns in our practice, like the ones described above.  However, every case has its own unique facts. The materials available on this web site are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. Before you take any action, you should contact an employment attorney to obtain advice on your own situation. We can’t provide legal advice here and this isn’t intended as legal advice. Use of and access to this Web site do not create an attorney-client relationship between the law firm and the user or browser.