Negotiating severance packages: A guide for employees

You enter the office as usual but are called by the HR manager into his office. They tell the company is “letting you go” and want you to sign a severance package. Expectedly, you are in for a shock, but this is not the time to lose your calm. If you have been laid off or were fired, the chances are high that the severance package is one of the first things you will deal with. You can consider gettingemployee survival guidesfrom a top lawyer, but for your help, here are some details that need your attention.

Don’t sign immediately

You may want to be done with the entire process, but your severance package needs deliberation. You have to consider every single element, and you should at least spend a couple of days reading the documents a few times. Don’t rush into signing the papers.

Check the details

A severance package is not just about money. If you sign without caution but have a case of discrimination, you may not have the scope to file a lawsuit. There are also terms and conditions that could impact your chances of getting a new job or contacting a few people. Don’t treat it as some parting gift.

Get an attorney

While there are handy guides, nothing can replace the experience and expertise of an attorney. If the language, jargon, and contents of the document seem confusing, contact an attorney who specializes in employment law. They can help review every detail that you may have missed.

Reread your offer letter/contract

If you have a copy of your contract, read everything to see if any of the terms of the severance package are in contrast to the original offer letter. Is the company trying to protect their interests by not giving what you deserve? The initial contract can be quite an eye-opener.

Get reports ready

Do you have reports of your performance reviews? Do you have copies of documents that state you have done good work in a particular year or quarter? The idea is to review the work you have done for the company and whether the severance package justifies that.

Negotiations are tricky

While lawyers can negotiate the severance package for you, remember there are limitations to that. You cannot bargain every aspect, and therefore, it is wise to review every detail and determine the areas that need attention and should be discussed with your employment lawyer.

Consider seeking help for anything that doesn’t seem right – You have one chance.

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