In a typical severance agreement, the employer wants a release from all legal claims an employee may have in exchange for severance pay and/or other benefits. More often than not, the employer also wants to prevent the employee from disclosing the existence or terms of the agreement. By signing a waiver and release of claims, an employee may unknowingly relinquish important rights.

Whether or not the severance agreement being offered by your employer is a good deal or not depends on a number of factors. Here are just a few of the many questions that need to be considered:

  • Does the employee have any viable legal claims against the company?

  • What is the reason that the employee is being let go?

  • Does the company owe the employee unpaid salary, commissions, or bonuses?

  • Is the employee's employment with the employer governed by a written contract?

  • Has the employee signed a non-compete agreement with the employer or is there one in the proposed severance agreement?

In short, a severance agreement is a serious document that no employee should sign without consulting with an employment law attorney. An employer's first offer is rarely its best offer. Signing an agreement without the benefit of good legal counsel might be leaving money on the table or worse, it might affect your ability to find replacement employment.

What Can An Attorney Do For Me?

At our firm, we offer a flat fee severance agreement review consultation. We offer these appointments state-wide to any employees who work in the State of Texas. At a severance review consultation, you will have an opportunity to review your employment history and the facts surrounding your departure with the attorney. The attorney will additionally review the severance agreement and advise you of all of the legal implications of signing the agreement.

You will also be able to discuss with the attorney whether it is possible that a better deal can be negotiated on your behalf. If that's possible, we can usually negotiate on your behalf directly with your employer on a contingent fee basis. This means that you will not have to pay any additional amounts out-of-pocket for our services. Instead, we will be paid a percentage of the extra amount we are able to negotiate from your employer. 

Take the Next Step

Mr. McKinney has been has been practicing employment law since 1996, is Board Certified in Labor and Employment Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, and has negotiated hundreds of severance agreements on behalf of executives and employees.  If you have been presented with a proposed severance agreement by your employer, contact us before you sign.