Severance Agreements & Negotiations

Image of a severance agreement, slightly blurred, and $300 cash above the agreement.

The Maura Greene Law Group helps clients with severance agreements in tech, startups, pharma, finance and other industries. We can help you negotiate a strong severance agreement.

What Is A Severance Agreement

A severance agreement is a legally enforceable contract between you and your employer. It will include terms regarding severance payments, health insurance, bonuses, commissions, equity, confidentiality, non-disparagement and other important terms.

Negotiating Your Severance Agreement

1. Do Not Wait: A severance agreement is time sensitive. Contact an attorney as soon as possible if you receive a severance agreement. An attorney can make sure you understand the proposed agreement and strategize with you about how to negotiate it.

2. Do Not Be Impulsive: You may only have 1 chance to negotiate your agreement. Do not act until you understand what your employer offered and you have a strategy for negotiating. As a result of acting rashly, you may miss getting a better deal.

3. Identify Your Goals: Determine what you want to negotiate before you act. Are you most concerned about the severance payment, health insurance, your professional reputation, messaging, reference, unemployment or other terms?

4. Make The Terms Mutual: Severance agreements are slanted towards your employer. An attorney can help you negotiate mutual terms and level the playing field

5. Position Yourself For A Smooth Transition: An attorney will work with you to understand what you will need to transition to your next job. It may be negotiating for outplacement services, executive coaching, unemployment language or other terms.

Why You Should Negotiate

A severance agreement is final once you sign it. If you fail to get the language correct, you may waive certain rights.

For example, an executive signed a severance agreement that was ambiguous and as a result, he inadvertently waived his rights to his preferred shares and stock options. 

Employees sometimes make the mistake that their severance agreement language is “boilerplate” and cannot be revised – this is incorrect.

Bottom Line: Be proactive. Do not wait. Work with an attorney to negotiate a strong severance agreement. We can help at the Maura Greene Law Group. Contact us today. 

Contact us at 617-936-1580 or email us at [email protected] 

The Not So Fine Print:

We see patterns in our practice, like the ones described above. However, every case has its own unique facts. Before you take any action, you should contact an employment lawyer and get advice on your own situation. We can’t provide legal advice here and this isn’t intended as legal advice. Keep in mind that it is best, if possible, to establish a relationship with an attorney before a workplace issue turns into a full-blown crisis. Employees who have received a verbal or written warning or performance improvement plan, should contact counsel now. Ditto for employees who are seeing their doctor for workplace related stress or anxiety.