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Severance packages are agreements between an employee and his employer about the compensation or benefits that the employee acquires 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.
These severance packages that a terminated employee can get include numerous kinds of benefits which can include 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, these severance packages do not include additional compensation for unlawful termination from work. Hence, if you feel that you are unjustly being eased out from work, you are not obligated to accept any severance package being offered to you by your employer. Alternatively, you have the right to seek damages against your employer for all the damages you suffered as a result of the unlawful termination and being forced to 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 towards the success of his or her business, offering you a separation package at the end of your working relationship is not against the law. However, full-time employees are most at risk of getting shortchanged in case a severance package negotiation happens since they have committed their time and energy greatly during their employment.
Hence, if you need to negotiate with your employer for a severance package, 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 Mesriani Law Group’s top severance package lawyers in Los Angeles, California 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 higher pay or better benefits. These benefits include health insurance and standard severance packages. As an employee, you have the right to negotiate for a better severance package upon the termination of your employment, especially if you have a subpar severance package or none at all.
The law only imposes minimum standards for employers to follow to protect the rights of the employees at work. Hence, if the agreement results in higher benefits to the employees, then the law will gladly step back and let the mutually beneficial work arrangement continue and prosper.
When Severance Packages Are Against the Law
Severance package agreements are agreements between an employer and an employee for providing 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, these packages are not legal under two circumstances:
- 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 being forced to sign a severance package in order for your employer to be able to terminate you, then the use of the severance package is illegal and invalid as well. In this case, you can file a claim for damages against your employer.
Who May Have a Severance Agreement
Severance packages are not limited only to full-time or permanent employment. Any type of employment can be the beneficiary of a severance package benefit. Even if you are a long-term, temporary or casual employee, there is no red tape in negotiating a severance package 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 the package becomes part of your it. You have grounds for legal action if your employer refuses to give you a proper severance package if you were lead to believe, either through a written contract, company mandate or an 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 benefits of your compensation at work as part of the initial agreement or contract. If your employer later refuses to give you one or negotiate with you for one under duress, you can contact a lawyer and file a claim for employment and labor law violations.
How to Negotiate Your Severance Benefits
It is never a good idea to try and 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, seek help from expert employment lawyers who have vast experience in negotiating severance packages for you and your family’s future.
The experienced and competent severance package lawyers from Mesriani Law Group can help ensure that you get the appropriate severance package you rightfully deserve from your delinquent employer.