A severance package includes payment and benefits offered to employees being laid-off or choosing to retire. These packages often include additional payment, unused vacation hours, health insurance, retirement benefits, and assistance in finding another job. It’s important to consult with a business lawyer before signing an agreement for your severance package.
If you have concerns about your severance package, contact our experienced Florida business attorney at The Law Office of Todd M. Kurland. Our office is dedicated to ensuring your best interests are considered by all parties involved.
There are several things you should keep in mind about severance packages:
#1: A Severance Package is Not Required
In the state of Florida, no employer is obligated to offer a severance pay agreement, even when the employee is laid-off for reasons unrelated to performance. However, many companies choose to offer agreements upon termination, especially when:
- The employer can no longer afford to employ all staff members
- The employer is shutting down a location
- The employer is selling the company
- The employee is retiring
There is only one situation in which an employer is legally required to offer severance pay: If employees are led to believe they’ll be paid severance through a written contract, a promise in a handbook, a history of severance packages given by the company to employees in a similar position, or a verbal promise from the employer to the employee.
#2: No Severance Package is Free
While it may seem like a no-brainer to accept bonus payment and benefits, there are things to consider before signing a severance pay agreement. No package is completely free. Often, employers choose to offer agreements to protect themselves against legal action. For example, if you believe you’ve been unjustly laid-off, you’ll sign away your right to sue.
Employers may also offer a severance package to keep employees from sharing information with direct competitors. These packages will contain confidentiality clauses, outlining what you can say and do after leaving. You should never sign a contract detailing future action without an experienced business lawyer.
#3: You Cannot Be Forced to Sign
You are not, under any circumstances, required to sign a severance pay agreement. Most companies in the state of Florida will allow three weeks for review of the agreement before deciding to negotiate, sign, or decline. Keep in mind that all severance packages, by design, will favor the employer. Your business lawyer can help keep your interests on the table.
Contact an Experienced Florida Business Attorney for Representation
If you’ve been offered a severance package by a company looking to terminate your employment, contact an experienced Florida business attorney for assistance. Our business lawyer, Todd M. Kurland, will keep your best interests at heart and fight for the compensation you deserve. Contact our office at (561)-693-4514.