Whether it is because of company downsizing, a reorganization, or other unforeseen circumstances, losing a job is never easy and it can have a big impact on your life.
But if you are in such a situation, your employer will probably present a severance agreement. Many people just sign the agreement and start looking for jobs. But, you shouldn’t do that. Instead, you should get professional assistance before signing the severance package.
To give you an idea, here are five benefits of hiring an employment lawyer to help you navigate severance agreements.
Understand The Legal Terminology
Severance agreements can be filled with legal jargon that is difficult to decipher if you’re not well-versed in employment law.
A professional employment attorney can guide you through the agreement, explaining the terms and conditions in plain language. They can help you fully understand what you’re signing and ensure that your rights are protected.
For example, imagine you come across a clause about non-compete agreements in your severance agreement.
A professional can explain how it might limit your ability to work in the same industry after leaving the company and provide advice on whether it’s reasonable or if it should be negotiated.
Understand Your Situation and Your Options
Each severance agreement is unique, just like your employment history and circumstances.
A severance lawyer can assess your individual situation, considering factors like the length of your employment, your performance record, and any potential legal claims you may have. They can provide an objective evaluation of the offer and determine if it aligns with industry standards and fair compensation practices.
For instance, let’s say you’ve been with a company for ten years and are being offered a severance package that seems inadequate compared to similar cases.
If one is fired or let go, often a severance agreement is presented. There are pros and cons to signing one. But signing a severance agreement without properly understanding the short- and long-term implications is almost never good.
Lower Your Legal Risks
Signing a severance agreement without understanding the legal consequences can have long-term implications.
Professionals well-versed in employment law can identify potential risks and provide strategies to mitigate them. They can ensure that your agreement is fair and legally binding, protecting you from any pitfalls that may arise in the future.
For example, you might have concerns about the non-disparagement clause, fearing that it could limit your ability to discuss your experience honestly. A professional can help negotiate revised language that allows you to express your opinion in a respectful manner while still adhering to the terms of the agreement.
Have A Professional Negotiator
Negotiating with your employer can be intimidating, especially when your emotions are running high after a job loss.
A professional can act as a mediator and advocate on your behalf during the negotiation process. They can help you identify areas that can be improved, such as the amount of severance pay, the continuation of benefits, or the inclusion of additional provisions that protect your interests.
Imagine feeling uncertain about the non-disclosure agreement in the severance agreement. A professional can negotiate terms that ensure you can speak freely about your experience with potential future employers without fear of legal repercussions.
Get Some Peace of Mind
Losing a job is undoubtedly a stressful experience. It can leave you feeling uncertain about your future and facing financial challenges.
By seeking professional assistance with your severance agreement, you can alleviate some of the stress and gain peace of mind. Knowing that you have an expert on your side, guiding you through the process, can provide a sense of security and relieve some of the stress associated with the situation.