Severance Pay Mistake #1
“There is no law which requires a severance
pay”. True, but then why do all companies pay
There is no law which states that severance pay must
be provided, but all companies provide severance pay
because the alternative is far worse for them. Keep
Severance Pay Mistake #2
“I’m an at-will employee so I cannot get
At-will employment simply means that you are employed
for an unstated duration, not a fixed period of time.
It means you can leave at any time, and, your employer
can terminate your employment at anytime, but a termination
must be for legal reasons and a layoff must be performed
legally! Being in an at-will employment state, or
having an at-will employment contract, does not mean
you cannot obtain severance-pay and a great severance
package because you have leverage...
Severance Pay Mistake #3
“I have no leverage to get severance pay and
I don't want to 'burn bridges' with my company”.
Whether you were fired for poor performance, laid
off, outsourced, or you have resigned, your employing
company is fearful of negative publicity, complaints
from former employees to board members, the possibility
of being sued and the disruptive time and expense
of litigation, and anyone speaking ill of the company.
Companies want you to go away quietly and stop any
possible controversy. All companies expect to negotiate
severance packages in exchange for a Separation and
Release Agreement, so you will be leaving not only
on 'good terms',
but also on your own terms!
Severance Pay Mistake #4
“My company is bankrupt or is being acquired,
so no severance pay”.
Most severance packages are provided when companies
have no money, file bankruptcy, or simply cut costs
through layoffs. In fact, severance packages provided
during these unfortunate events are usually more generous.
Severance Pay Mistake #5
“My severance package is not
negotiable and must be signed right away”.
Human Resources and your boss will push you to take
the check they’ve already cut and sign a release
agreement right away. Don’t do it as no employment
situation is ‘take it or leave it’. Tell
them you need to think this situation over. They will
not, and cannot, withdraw the severance offer—even
if you ask for more! In fact, there are federal laws
which require them to give you three weeks or up to
60 days to consider the agreement—more than
enough time to negotiate a better severance package.
Severance Pay Mistake #6
“I can negotiate a severance package by myself”.
People who do this always underestimate their own
value, what their company has in the past provided
to others, and, what their company will provide for
them in a severance package. In addition, they leave
out compensation, benefits and legal protections which
can be negotiated and should be included in all severance
Severance Pay Mistake #7
“I can review and understand the legal language
within the Separation and Release of Claims Agreement
my company wants me to sign in exchange for my severance
All Separation and Release Agreements state that you
should consult with an attorney and have the attorney
review the release of rights prior to signing it.
This is for your protection, as you may not understand
or even see the hidden restrictive covenants within
the separation/release agreement and within your original
employment agreement. An experienced Employment Attorney
with a Human Resources background is best qualified
to review a separation/release agreement, not your
family or business contracts attorney.
Severance Pay Mistake #8
“I will hire an attorney to represent me”.
Severance pay packages are created and implemented
by your friendly Human Resources Department. But,
if you hire an attorney to represent you to negotiate
a severance deal, your friendly HR Department MUST,
and will, turn you and your attorney over to its corporate
Legal Department and its attorneys. You will have
a tough time negotiating a severance as corporate
attorneys always take a tough stance against opposing
attorneys. Your matter will be legally escalated into
a battle of attorneys. And, it’s another story
if you launch a lawsuit. The best severance deals
come from HR departments.
To avoid these mistakes, you need both legal
AND human resources experts on your side to assist
you in getting the best severance package!
Get what you’re worth,
Get what you’ve earned,
Get what you’re legally entitled to receive,
Get Career Protection—Your advantage in employment
At Career Protection®,
we’re on your side to protect your career and
financial future. Get Career Protection—Your
advantage in employment negotiations. ®
Consultation! Call us to see if we can assist you.