What is a severance package or severance agreement?
Minnesota and federal law don’t require employers for at-will employees (which includes almost everyone, unless you have an employment contract) to provide any severance pay at all when they terminate or discharge an employee.
It doesn’t matter how long you’ve worked there or how much great service you’ve given your employer. Unfortunately, the law is that they can fire an employee on an at-will basis, without notice, and give them nothing at all.
However, sometimes employers will nonetheless offer severance pay to employees in a severance package. Severance pay is basically a payment by the employer to the employee in exchange for the employee not suing the employer. It is very important that you have a lawyer review this agreement, because the agreements typically require employees to release every single claim of any kind that they have or may have against the employer, including all kinds of discrimination, wrongful termination, unpaid wages or overtime – everything.
In order to understand if the employer is offering you a fair amount in severance pay, you need to understand if you’ve got any potential claims against the employer and, if yes, the strength of those claims. For example, if you’ve got a strong discrimination or unpaid overtime claim against your employer, then even if your employer is offering you 6 months’ worth of severance pay, it may not be enough compared to the value of the claim that they want you to release.
For a free legal consultation with a severance agreements lawyer serving Minneapolis, call 612-349-2729
Can lawyers help negotiate additional severance pay?
You bet. And that’s why it’s important to consult with a Minnesota employment lawyer about your severance agreement and your underlying employment situation. You need an honest and straightforward opinion on whether you’ve got any potential legal claims against your employer, the strength of those claims, the value of those claims, and whether the employer is offering you enough in severance to release those claims. If not, you may need a lawyer who can call the employer (or usually, write a letter) outlining your claims and asking for more money in severance to release them. Lawyers can help negotiate additional severance pay by using the leverage of your potential lawsuit.
On the other hand, if a lawyer determines that you’ve got no plausible case – or that your case would be too risky compared to the guaranteed money offered in your severance agreement – that advice could help you in deciding whether or not to accept the agreement.
Minneapolis Severance Agreements Lawyer Near Me 612-349-2729
What about Executive Pay and Severance Agreements for Professionals?
The same principles as stated above apply – you should have an attorney listen to your situation to determine if you have any potential claims, as that can raise the value of your severance.
Additionally, especially with executives and professionals but oftentimes with other employees as well, employers have other interests in offering severance pay. For example, they may want confidentiality, non-disparagement, cooperation with the transition to a new employee, a non-competition agreement, or other non-monetary terms. Employment law attorneys can help you negotiate additional severance pay in exchange for these non-monetary items.
Contact Our Severance Agreement and Severance Pay Attorneys.
You must act quickly when it comes to employment claims. If you wait, there may be strict statutes of limitation that will bar you from filing any claim at all against your employer. Call Madia Law today to discuss your case.
First, contact our office and tell us about your situation. You’ll talk with our staff for about 5-10 minutes. They’ll get some basic information about you and your case.
There’s some information that we’ll need when you call. We will want to know who you worked for, what kind of work you did, for how long worked there, how much you earned, if/when you were terminated, the reason given by your employer for any discipline and termination, and why do you think your employer did something unlawful or wrongful. If you have this information handy, it will allow us to proceed more quickly.
We will get back to you shortly – usually within a few hours. If your potential case is a little outside of our wheelhouse, we may refer you to attorneys, agencies, or organizations that we think might be better suited to handle your situation. Our goal is to ensure you get the best and most appropriate help possible for your particular situation. If that’s not us, we’ll try to tell you immediately and point you in the right direction.
If we think that we might be able help you, we’ll set an appointment for you to talk with one of our employment lawyers. We’ll discuss your case, and give you our honest assessment of its strengths, weaknesses, and value. If we then mutually agree that Madia will represent you, we will talk about the process of moving forward with your case.
When you talk with our employment lawyers, please be sure to have all relevant documents that you have in your possession. For example, that could include: pay-stubs, personnel files, employment handbooks/policies, letters from your employer (including your termination letter), any text messages or emails that you think are important, and any other documents that you think might be helpful.