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What is a severance agreement?

Not all jobs will endure until a New Yorker is ready to retire. In fact, it is not uncommon for individuals to change employers and even career paths throughout the course of their work lives. While some individuals will choose to leave places of employment on their terms and for better opportunities, others will find themselves leaving their jobs at the bequest of their employers.

When an employee leaves their job due to the actions of their employer, they may be offered a severance package to smooth over the transition out of their employment. Severance packages can include, but are not limited to, increased compensation, the extension of work-related benefits and other financial benefits. Severance packages are generally offered in return for individuals signing off on severance agreements, which can be technical documents.

A severance agreement will generally require an employee to avoid taking any adverse action against their soon-to-be former employer. In exchange for releasing their right to file a lawsuit or other action against the employer, the individual accepts the benefits and compensation in the severance package and leaves their employment on those terms.

Severance agreements and the compensation packages that they offer employees can be attractive to those who are forced out of their jobs. However, it can be advisable for a person who has received notice of the end of their employment to discuss their rights with an employment law attorney before signing. In some situations, it may be more beneficial for an employee to preserve their rights to litigate employment matters rather than accept the terms of a severance agreement and package; whether this option would work for a particular reader cannot be answered here as every employment situation is different and should be assessed by a legal professional.

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