Severance agreements are generally prepared to protect your employer’s interests. Before you accept or try to negotiate your agreement you should consider the following:
1. Does My Severance Agreement Provide Me With Appropriate Consideration?
You should review your agreement to ensure it provides you with appropriate consideration. This may include financial terms (wages, bonuses, commissions, equity, etc.) and non-financial terms (mutual confidentiality, mutual non-disparagement, messaging).
2. Will My Severance Agreement Interfere With My Future Employment?
Your severance agreement may interfere with your future employment if it includes a non-compete provision, non-solicitation clause, clawback provision, cooperation requirement, or other terms. Your agreement may impact who you may work for, the type of work you can perform, and include other restrictions that may hurt your career.
3. Does My Severance Agreement Impact My Other Contracts?
You should be careful that your agreement doesn’t negatively impact your employment agreement, equity awards, partnership agreements, and other contracts. Your agreement may result in you losing certain compensation, waiving certain rights, or creating other potential issues.
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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. It is best, if possible, to establish a relationship with an attorney before a workplace issue turns into a crisis.