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Understanding a severance agreement

| Jul 27, 2018 | Employment Law for Employees |

When employment comes to an end, one typically associates this step with retirement. Unfortunately, employees in New York and elsewhere are let go for various reasons. Some of these are perfectly legit and legal reasons. In other cases, an employee might be unlawfully terminated. In these matters, an employee could take action to file a legal action. However, as a means to avoid litigation, an employer may offer a severance agreement.

A severance agreement is a contract that is entered into between an employee that is leaving and his or her employer. Typically, this agreement states that the employee will not sue the employer for wrongful termination or any other legal action related to their employment relationship. And in turn for not suing the employer, the employer provides the employee with additional compensation.

In order for this agreement to be valid, there must be consideration. There needs to be a bargain for exchange in order for the release of liability to be valid. However, if there is no consideration, and employee retains his or her right to sue their employer. Thus, when negotiating the terms of a severance agreement it is important to ensure the agreement entitled the employee adequate additional compensation, an employee takes steps to protect themselves from any claims and the provisions of the agreement are specifically worded with regards to conditions and characteristics.

Employment law issues can be emotional and complex. Walking away from a job can have its positives and negatives, especially when there is a severance agreement involved. These matters can be complex, making it vital to fully understand what is being detailed in the agreement and what rights are afforded to the employee in this document and situation as a whole.