Companies are not required by law to provide severance packages to employees. As a result, severance agreements are offered at the discretion of an employer. Most severance agreements extend medical benefits and pay for a limited amount of time on the condition that the employee waives his or her right to sue the company.
In cases where age discrimination is a concern on the part of an employer, an employee may be given 21 days to decide whether or not to accept a severance package. This is intended to protect the company from allegations that they used pressure to force an employee to accept an offer. Since there are a number of legal and financial issues that must be considered when evaluating a severance package, consulting a Houston employment law attorney before you sign may be the best way to protect your interests and your rights.
At the law office of Shellist Lazarz Slobin LLP, our employment law attorneys work closely with clients in evaluating the terms and conditions of a severance package. To discuss your case, contact severance agreement lawyers at Shellist Lazarz Slobin LLP today.
A Houston severance agreement lawyer from our firm can explain:
The enforceability of a severance agreement is essential in order to enforce the release of rights on the part of the employee not to pursue a claim against the employer. In order for a severance agreement to be enforceable, an employer must offer an employee something over and above what they would normally receive upon separation from a company.
For example, a severance agreement could include unused sick pay, vacation pay, an extension of health care coverage, or even continued contribution to an employee's 401k account—whatever the employer decides. If a severance agreement does not include these kinds of additional benefits, an employee may be released from a non-compete agreement as well.
It's not uncommon for employers to use a severance agreement to diffuse potential whistleblower actions, discrimination / retaliation lawsuits, wage and hour disputes, and other employment claims. Understanding what your rights and obligations are in the context of several competing legal and financial concerns is essential in determining whether or not you should accept a severance package.
When you are facing the decision to accept a severance package agreement, our firm can investigate your rights with regard to health care, disability coverage, Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) matters, and Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) claims that may arise from your mid-career loss of employment. We are prepared to give you quick, relevant advice when you are under time pressure to accept or decline a severance package agreement. On the other hand, we can also represent you in the event of a severance package agreement that you have already signed.
If your employer has offered you a severance package, it’s important to ask a lawyer for advice in order to secure your best interests. Our employment law attorneys in Houston are experienced and knowledgeable.
Contact the employment law attorneys at Shellist Lazarz Slobin LLP today at (713) 352-3433 to schedule an appointment and learn how we can help you.