Do you have a severance agreement or package in New Jersey and are looking for a New Jersey severance lawyer? Our attorneys or severance FAQ assist you with your severance agreement or severance package.
Breakdown of the Severance FAQ
A qualified severance attorney will have reviewed and negotiated hundreds of severance packages on behalf of employees. From those severance packages they should have been able to make numerous modifications regarding the amount of severance that was provided, the length of time that Cobra or healthcare continuation lasted and many other changes to severance agreements. Each situation is different and every severance package is different. Any employee or coworker who tells you that it is a standard severance package is misguided and is providing you with bad information. Every severance package is different and has various ramifications on the employee based on your specific situation.
For example, you may have a potential lawsuit that you would be waving in return for the severance. A qualified severance attorney would evaluate your potential claim and then advise you on whether you should accept the package that is being offered, try and negotiate to increase the amount of severance being offered or walk away from the severance in order to file a lawsuit. You may also be prevented from accepting employment with another employer based on the express language in the severance agreement. There are a multitude of different scenarios that are specific to you that will not fall into the standard severance package. Therefore, we suggest that you contact and retain a New Jersey severance lawyer for the review of your severance agreement or separation package. A severance law firm should provide a flat rate for the review and meeting of your severance package and can negotiate with your employer on your behalf to try and make changes and increase the terms of the severance agreement.
Are employers required to pay severance in New Jersey?
No, by law, employers do not have to provide employees with severance. However, if an employer has a policy for severance, they must pay employees meeting the eligibility requirements.
Usually, eligibility requirements can include an amount of time working for the company, staying with the company through transition periods, or losing their job for reasons out of the employer’s control.
Is there a standard amount of severance offered by an employer?
How much an employee is entitled to receive depends on the employer’s severance policy. Some employers have discretion when determining how much severance pay an employee will receive, while other employers have established amounts they pay every employee depending on their circumstances.
For example, an employer may offer two weeks’ worth of salary for every year the employee worked for the company.
Should I have my New Jersey severance package reviewed?
Yes. When your employer offers you a severance package, they may ask you to sign an agreement that may affect your legal rights.
Therefore, it’s best to have an employment lawyer review the details of your severance package to ensure it is fair. If necessary, your attorney can negotiate with your employer on your behalf.
What should be included in a severance agreement?
A severance agreement usually includes key details and terms, including:
- The amount of severance pay
- How severance will be paid, whether in a lump sum or installments
- Date of termination
- How long the employee will have access to benefits
- Transition assistance, if any
An employment attorney can review the severance agreement to ensure it is complete and fair.
Should I negotiate the terms of my severance agreement?
You may have the opportunity to negotiate your severance package, depending on your situation. When an employment lawyer reviews your agreement, they can determine whether it works in your favor based on your circumstances. If something is amiss, your attorney can negotiate with your employer on your behalf.
Negotiations for a severance agreement may be easier if the agreement is part of an employment contract. If you’re reviewing your agreement at the outset of your employment, you may have a good chance of convincing your employer to edit some of the terms.
Your employer may make negotiations more challenging if the agreement is part of a severance package you’ve received after already losing your job. In situations like this, having an employment lawyer is particularly beneficial, as they can more aggressively negotiate for a better agreement.
Why did my employer offer me 21 days to review the agreement?
Under the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act (OWBPA), employees over 40 years of age are given 21 days to review their severance packages.
The act’s purpose is to allow older employees to thoroughly review their agreements or hire an attorney to do so. This helps prevent employers from bullying older terminated employees into signing away their rights after losing their jobs.
The law also gives older employees seven days to revoke their acceptance, freeing them from its terms.
Can an employer change my severance amount or revoke it entirely?
Unfortunately, yes, employers have the right to change a severance amount or revoke your severance agreement altogether. However, this is not the case if you have a contractual agreement with your employer.
Should you have an existing contract regarding severance, or you’ve already signed the agreement in your severance package, your employer is not allowed to change terms or fail to follow through with the agreement. If they do, you may have a valid claim for breach of contract against your employer.
Do I get my severance if I already have a new job?
Yes, even if you are fortunate enough to quickly land a new job, you can still receive a severance package if one is offered. You are also not obligated to tell your previous employer about your new job, as it has no bearing on your severance.
Our Severance FAQ Doesn’t Have What You Need? Contact Our New Jersey Employment Law Attorneys
We try and have all of the common questions on this severance FAQ, but we understand that your situation may need specifics. At Castronovo & McKinney, we have a proven history of successfully resolving employment law claims in and out of the courtroom. If the severance FAQ failed to answer your question, trust our legal team to always work in your best interests and make sure your questions are answered and your rights are protected. Contact us today so we can better address your question.