Losing your job is the last thing anyone expects to happen. It would have been a surprise to meet with HR and receive a severance agreement to review. The agreement should come with a list of the terms and benefits your employer is offering you. But now, as you try to navigate your future, following the fine print is too complex to handle.
The attorneys of Brown Kwon & Lam can walk you through the severance agreement process to ensure you receive the package you deserve.
What is a severance agreement?
In essence, a severance agreement is a legally binding document that covers the rights and responsibilities of the employee and employer in the event of termination or layoffs. This can include pay, insurance, etc. In some severance agreements, a non-compete and non-disclosure will be included as part of the total employment agreement.
The agreement ensures that the employee understands two things:
- The terms in which they’re being let go.
- What benefits they will receive.
However, this isn’t to help employees necessarily. Many companies use severance agreements to make sure a former employee does not file a lawsuit against the company for wrongful termination.
Once they sign the document, the employee knows that they will receive severance pay. This acts as the incentive for the employee to sign the contract in the first place.
Elements of New York Severance Agreements
While no severance agreements are the same, there are basic elements of a New York severance agreement employees should be mindful of. These include:
- Severance Pay: Under Federal, New York State, and New York City, employers are not required to provide severance pay. However, companies often do to ensure you will not pursue legal action or disclose any company information.
- Medical Benefits: Under The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1995 (COBRA), employees are entitled to continued health insurance coverage for up to 18 months after termination.
While these are the financial benefits you may be most interested in, there are other factors to include. They are:
- Time: When presented with a severance package, you must be allotted time to review the terms and conditions of the agreement. Anyone over the age of 40 has 21 days to consider, and 7 days to rescind the offer. Only you as the employee can waive the 21 day consideration period.
- Limitations: If a severance agreement bars you from taking action with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, uses complex jargon intended to make you miss the fine details, or stops you from filing a discrimination case, you need to review the contract with an attorney and discuss your options.
Why You Need an NYC Severance Agreement Attorney
Finding out you’re losing your job can be stressful and emotionally draining. But just because your heart and mind may be in a bad place does not mean you should waive your rights. You shouldn’t let your employer dismiss you without proper compensation.
If you receive a severance package, you need the experience of an NYC employee rights attorney. We can review the terms of the agreement and ensure no one is infringing on your rights. Contact the New York employment attorneys of Brown Kwon & Lam today and for more information about New York employment contract disputes, visit our website.