Losing your job is the last thing you expected to happen. But when you met with HR, you were given a severance agreement to review with the terms and benefits you are entitled to. But now, as you try to navigate your future, following the fine print is too complex to handle.
The New York severance agreement 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 the terms in which they were let go as well as what they will receive. However, this isn’t to help employees necessarily, as many companies use severance agreements to make sure a former employee does not file a lawsuit against the company for wrongful termination.
Once the document has been signed, the employee knows that they will receive severance pay which is an 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. If you are over the age of 40, you are legally entitled to 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
Getting laid off or terminated can be stressful and emotionally draining. But just because your heart and mind may be scattered does not mean you should waive your rights and be dismissed without proper compensation.
If you have been given a severance package, you need the experience of an NYC employee rights attorney who can review the terms of the agreement and ensure your rights have not been infringed upon. Contact the New York employment attorneys of Brown Kwon & Lam today and for more information about New York employment contract disputes, visit our website.