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Severance packages fall short of legal entitlement.

Most employees who arrive at our office with a termination package are finding out that they have not been offered enough salary continuance. In many cases, the package is short by several months. In order to avoid being short-changed by your former employer, it is crucial not to sign the severance package and/or enclosed release form without obtaining legal advice first. You have worked hard for many years and should be properly compensated upon termination.

Factors that play a role in determining a fair compensation package include length of service, age, compensation level, seniority of position, etc. Employers often provide employees with a short deadline in which to sign the release for the termination package hoping that the tight deadline combined with the stress of being terminated will induce the employee to sign the package offered and get the employer of the hook. Please keep in mind that the deadline provided by the employer only plays a role if you wish to accept the current compensation package.

If you and your lawyer decide to make a counter-offer, the original offer from the employer is technically extinguished by the new offer (although in the vast majority of the cases you will still be able to go back to the original offer even if the employer does not want to give more severance). If you feel that what you have been offered is insufficient you are probably right. In any event it is better to be safe than sorry and all packages should be reviewed by a qualified legal professional before acceptance. In most cases we are successful in negotiating additional severance without going to court or even issuing a Claim with all negotiations with the employer taking place outside of the court.

By: Alita Wolff
July 5, 2018

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