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Protecting Your Rights and Maximizing the Compensation in Your Severance Package

Because the economy continues to grow at a tepid rate, many employers are engaging in extensive layoffs. Amid this wave of terminations, most downsized executives will be offered severance packages. These severance packages come with agreements that require you to waive certain rights and legal claims against your employer.

Many severance packages are offered because an executive has legitimate claims or leverage against the company. While you may be presented with a form-type severance contract, this does not mean that you cannot use certain advantages to negotiate a better severance package.

If you are going to attempt to negotiate a superior compensation package, you should retain an experienced employment law attorney before beginning negotiations. When direct negotiations break down, your employer may be less inclined to negotiate with you, leaving litigation as your only option. If you have legal representation from the beginning of the negotiation, we can help avoid letting negotiations deteriorate to this point.

Risks of signing a severance agreement without legal counsel

Anytime you are considering executing a severance agreement, it is important to have the terms carefully reviewed by an experienced employment contract attorney. The terms can be confusing and ambiguous because the severance contract will entail you waiving all legal claims against your employer, including future claims and even those claims that you have no idea existed at the time of executing the agreement.

Another reason it is important to seek legal counsel promptly is that deadlines typically apply when executing a severance agreement. However, an employee over the age of 40 has 21 days to execute a severance agreement.

Our Bergen County employment agreement attorneys carefully evaluate severance agreements paragraph by paragraph, and explain our clients’ legal issues and rights, as well as practical considerations. We can also analyze the factual and legal issues involved in your termination to identify potential employment law claims that you may be entitled to pursue. We also evaluate compensation and benefits issues along with potential limitations imposed by covenants not to compete.

Neil H. Deutsch On G+

Neil  H.  Deutsch Attorney Photo
Neil H. Deutsch

Neil H. Deutsch has been practicing law for over 35 years and is known as a skilled negotiator in employment and discrimination law. He believes in a bottom-line approach of risk analysis and cost effectiveness for his clients. "Case evaluation is something we take seriously," says Mr. Deutsch who seeks top net dollar for his…

Bruce  L.  Atkins Attorney Photo
Bruce L. Atkins
Senior Partner

Bruce L. Atkins is the Senior Managing Partner at Deutsch Atkins & Kleinfeldt P.C., a prominent plaintiff employment law firm in the tri-state area. Mr. Atkins believes employees’ rights should be aggressively pursued when they’ve been wrongfully dealt with by their employers. He brings this philosophy to his practice when considering each case and its…

Adam  J.  Kleinfeldt Attorney Photo
Adam J. Kleinfeldt

Adam J. Kleinfeldt joined Deutsch Atkins & Kleinfeldt, P.C. in March of 2015.  He primarily represents individuals in employment litigation such as discrimination, retaliation and whistle blowing matters. He has extensive experience in all phases of the litigation process. Adam has obtained significant results for his clients, including a $525,000 jury verdict in a sexual…

Debra M. McGarvey Attorney Photo
Debra M. McGarvey

Debra M. McGarvey joined Deutsch Atkins & Kleinfeldt, P.C. in December 2019. She has extensive experience defending employees and employers in state and federal court in employment litigation matters. She has represented clients on various issues arising out of the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD), the New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA), the…

Carly Skarbnik Meredith Attorney Photo
Carly Skarbnik Meredith

Carly Skarbnik Meredith, Esq. is a Partner at the firm. Carly has focused her career exclusively in the field of employment law. She has a plethora of experience representing both employees and employers with their employment issues, needs, and concerns. She believes representing both employees and employers has made her an extremely well-rounded client advocate.…


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