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Severance Agreements in Jacksonville

Jacksonville Employment Attorney Explains Severance Agreements

An individual's separation from employment can be a time filled with confusion and stress. Career transitions need to be thought out and planned, but that provision is not always allotted to the employee. Employees who are presented with a severance agreement or separation package should obtain legal advice to understand their rights and obligations prior to accepting such an agreement.

Many employers will inform employees that they should discuss a severance agreement with a lawyer prior to signing. Severance agreements usually contain provisions releasing any and all claims the employee may have had up to the time of executing the agreement. Some employees may have legitimate claims that can lead to lawsuits and significant damages against their employers. Once the severance agreement is signed, however, any such claim may be forever lost. Speak with the Jacksonville employment attorney from the firm today for legal guidance.

Issues with Severance Agreements

The primary issue of concern in a proposed severance agreement is the amount of severance pay that is offered to the terminated employee by the employer. Other issues may also need to be discussed before signing. Unresolved benefit issues may pertain to retirement plans, stock plans, stock options, bonuses, incentive compensation amounts, and health insurance.

Other non-monetary issues governing future communications between the parties and third parties should also be considered and potentially addressed in the agreement. Most importantly, an employee should remember that a severance agreement presented by an employer is drafted to protect the employer's interests, not the employee's concerns. While many such agreements are fair in their language and provisions, some have traps and statements that can cause future harm even if there was no ill intent by the employer.

Employees should be cautious when entering into severance agreements and not simply assume that such an agreement is a take-it-or-leave-it proposition. Some severance agreements are specifically offered due to concerns of potential liability and exposure for valid legal claims. This could be an opportunity to negotiate a settlement that is reflective of the true harm being suffered.

If you have been offered a severance agreement or believe you should be entitled to a severance package, contact Attorney Shands M. Wulbern for a detailed analysis and opinion of your legal rights.