Margarita Hernandez filed a lawsuit against IMAX for wrongful termination. Hernandez, a former company lawyer...
A severance package is an agreement between an employee and his employer about the compensation or benefits that the employee will acquire upon mutual termination of the employment relationship. There is no law prohibiting the arrangement or agreement between the employer and employee for compensation or set benefits as a result of resigning or being laid off from work.
Termination benefits can include several things such as payment for unused vacation time, job search aids, retirement benefits, medical or life insurance, as well as some unemployment benefits such as additional months of payment.
However, severance pay does not include additional compensation for wrongful termination. Hence, if you feel that you are unjustly being eased out from work, you are not obligated to accept any termination agreement offered to you by your employer. Alternatively, you have the right to seek compensation from your employer for all the damages you suffered as a result of the unlawful termination and an unfair agreement to make your termination valid.
Part-time and full-time employees may have severance agreements with their employer and can be agreed upon right before the employer accepts the job. These agreements mean that even if you are working part-time, but your employer feels that you made a significant contribution toward the success of his or her business, offering you a severance package at the end of your working relationship is not against the law. However, full-time employees are at risk of getting shortchanged in case a severance pay negotiation happens since they have already invested a lot of time and energy in the company.
Hence, if you need to negotiate with your employer for separation benefits, don’t try to negotiate with your employer on your own. You are not an expert in employment and labor laws and, consequently, you may not be able to maximize your benefits from your employer. If you want to ensure you get the best package you deserve, seek help from Los Angeles employment discrimination lawyers who have decades of experience in employment and labor law matters.
What to Do When Negotiating Severance Packages
There are no prohibitions against negotiating with your employer for a better package. With the help of a Los Angeles severance package attorney, you can negotiate for benefits like health insurance and standard packages. As an employee, you have the right to negotiate for more benefits upon the termination of your employment, especially if you have a subpar package or none at all.
The law only imposes minimum standards employers must follow to protect the rights of their employees. Hence, if the agreement results in higher benefits to the employees, then the law will gladly step back and let the mutually beneficial work arrangements continue and prosper.
When Severance Packages Are Against the Law
A severance package is an agreement between an employer and employee where the former provides the latter with a set sum or amount of money, which may or may not include other benefits, in case the employee gets laid off, fired, or resigns. However, there are instances when this agreement oversteps legal bounds. A severance package is illegal if it:
- Violates employment and labor laws – The agreement should not violate any labor law provisions or should not be used to circumvent any employment regulations. If you are forced to enter into an agreement or contract by your employer to take on less pay or to exchange some of your leave benefits and other benefits generally provided by your employer to minor benefits, the severance package is invalid. It is invalid because bargaining for your basic rights for an agreement or contract is illegal, consequently making the contract void.
- Used as means of illegal termination – If you are threatened to sign a severance package so your employer can terminate you, then the use of the severance pay is illegal and invalid, as well. In this case, you can file a claim for damages against your employer.
Who is Entitled to a Termination Agreement?
Severance packages are not limited only to full-time or permanent employment. Any type of employee can be the beneficiary of a termination package. Even if you are a long-term, temporary, or casual employee, there is no red tape in negotiating a severance pay with your employer especially when your employer is more than willing to provide you with the additional benefits that you seek.
Severance Agreement as a Matter of Right
As a general rule, severance packages are optional as there is no law requiring your employer to give you one. However, if part of your compensation package when you started with work includes a severance package, then you are more than entitled to it. You have grounds for legal action if your employer refuses to give you proper termination benefits if you were lead to believe, either through a written contract, company mandate, or oral promise that you would be offered a severance package.
Accordingly, your employer cannot say that the package is optional after agreeing to work for him or her because it already forms part of your compensation outlined in the initial agreement or contract. If your employer refuses to give you one or negotiate the benefits with you upon termination, you can contact a Los Angeles severance package attorney and file a claim for employment and labor law violations.
How to Negotiate Your Termination Benefits
It is never a good idea to negotiate and reach a settlement with your employer on your own, especially when your future compensation is involved. To make sure that you get the best compensation and benefits you deserve, work with employment discrimination lawyers with extensive experience in negotiating severance packages for you and your family’s future.
The experienced and competent labor lawyers from Mesriani Law Group can help ensure that you get the appropriate severance package you rightfully deserve from your delinquent employer.