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Santa Clarita Employment Law Attorneys – (661) 434-4333
You may have been presented with a proposed severance agreement as part of a voluntary or involuntary termination of your employment. Unless you are familiar with severance agreements, you might not know whether the terms that are being proposed are favorable to you, whether the compensation being offered in exchange for your signature is reasonable, and whether signing the document might impact your prospects of future employment or your legal rights.
At Markson Pico LLP, our employment lawyers in Valencia can review your proposed severance agreement, and provide you with counseling and guidance before you decide whether to sign it, whether to negotiate for something more favorable, or whether to take another course of action. Our law firm represents only employees. We understand the challenges employees face upon termination, and we take pride in delivering personalized, compassionate legal service. Being attentive to our clients' needs is what has generated our track record of successful case results secured for our employment law clients.
Find out more about our services by contacting us now. There is no charge to talk with us about reviewing your proposed severance agreement.
The Purpose of a Severance Agreement
Under California and federal employment laws, most employers do not have to offer severance agreements to their employees. However, some employers propose severance agreements in order to create a “no-litigation” contract with some departing employees. Most proposed severance agreements contain clauses that state the departing employee will agree to not sue their former employer for any conduct arising out of the employment relationship. In other words, the employer is looking for a release of all claims.
What else can a severance agreement do? Here are just a few common examples:
- Payments. Severance agreements generally provide that the employers will pay a pre-determined amount of money to the employee upon departure. The amount of the payment is negotiable.
- Nondisclosure Terms. Severance agreements often ensure that departing employees agree not share company secrets after leaving, acting as a nondisclosure agreement (NDA). Whether an NDA is appropriate and the scope of any such agreement is negotiable.
- Non-compete Terms. Some companies try to limit their former employees’ ability to work for rival companies after leaving. These terms, known as non-compete agreements, are complicated and, unless drafted properly, might not be enforceable. Before signing a non-compete, departing employees should secure legal counseling to ensure that they are not signing a document that might lead to future litigation after finding a new job, or improperly limit their ability to find a new job.
- Non-disparagement Terms. Sometimes residual animosity is left when an employee leaves. Inclusion of a non-disparagement provision in a severance agreement helps to ensure that both parties agree not speak ill of the each other after parting ways.
- Job Reference Terms. When leaving a job involuntarily, it’s best not to leave your job reference to chance. Severance agreements offer an opportunity to include a term requiring a favorable or even just a neutral reference when future employers call. Creative job reference terms allow the parties to agree on what may be said about the departing employees, and who will give that reference.
Legal Counsel for Severance Agreement Disputes & Reviews
If you are an employee looking for counseling about a proposed severance agreement, or looking for someone to negotiate terms that are more favorable than the one-sided proposal that your employer is pushing, Markson Pico LLP can help. You can rely on Markson Pico LLP for legal guidance, counseling, advocacy and representation for severance agreement matters, as well as for cases that reach the courtroom.
Put a reputable Santa Clarita employment law firm in your corner now by calling (661) 434-4333.