If you have been offered a separation package, you can study it to your heart's content, but you are unlikely to fully understand what it means. Many severance agreements do not advise you to consult an attorney before you sign a waiver. You are not given this advice because your employer wants a lawyer fly specking its terms, but because it is required in some situations.
Have you been given 21 or 45 days to consider a separation agreement and seven days to revoke your signature? Have you been provided a listing of the job titles and ages of those selected for separation? Were you informed of the eligibility criteria for the selections? Do you understand why you are to be provided this information as part of the separation package? If you are age 40 or older the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act requires your employer to meet certain requirements in order for a severance agreement to be valid and enforceable. The OWBPA is an amendment to the Federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act 29 USC 626.
If you have questions about separation or termination agreement of any kind, please contact the severance agreement attorneys at the Huizenga & Hergt, P.C., today. Our attorneys have over 30 years of experience protecting the rights of employees in situations just like yours. You can rely on our legal knowledge and skill.
By signing a severance agreement that contains a waiver or release of your claims, you may be giving up valuable rights that could affect your benefits or retirement income for years to come.
If you sign an agreement that contains a waiver or release, you are giving up your right to sue. You may feel compelled to sign because you need the money, but you should consider how long that money will last and where you will be financially in the future. Before you sign, you should seek legal advice. The agreement may unduly restrict your ability to earn a living in the future. More importantly, you may have a claim that is far more valuable than what you employer is offering you.
If you have signed an agreement waiving your rights, the agreement may be flawed and unenforceable. You should seek immediate legal advice, since time limits for taking legal action are relatively short.
At the law firm of Huizenga & Hergt, P.C, our attorneys specialize in the negotiation of severance agreements for employees at all levels, including executives. We have negotiated nearly every aspect of separation agreements, including salary, bonus payments, stock options, out placement, letters of recommendation, non-compete agreements and other provisions important to our clients.
We have negotiated improved severance agreements in the vast majority of situations, without the need for litigation because of our knowledge of the law governing releases and our ability to evaluate any underlying claims.
We have been able to set aside releases because they did not meet the requirements of federal law. When necessary, we have successfully litigated cases on behalf of employees who have signed releases and received severance pay without having to return any of the money received prior to filing suit. We have successfully represented clients on the issue of severance agreements in state and federal court, including the U.S. Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court.
Your severance agreement may well be one of the most important documents you ever sign. Don't sign it without talking to us first.
For high quality legal representation and responsive client service, contact the severance agreement attorneys at Huizenga & Hergt, P.C., today.
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