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I was Offered a Severance Package From My Employer. Do I Have to Accept It?

Wrongful Termination Attorneys Serving New York City Employees

Regardless of the circumstances involved, knowing the steps to take after losing your job can be difficult. In many cases, an employer will present an employee with a severance agreement at the time of termination or several days afterward. Many employees feel pressured into signing these agreements and fail to take the time to understand the agreement’s implications. However, a terminated worker is not required to sign a severance agreement. Executing the document may have negative implications for any future legal claim that the employee wishes to bring. At Phillips & Associates, our New York City wrongful termination lawyers can help you navigate this situation. Before you sign a severance agreement, an attorney familiar with this area of the law can advise you.

Understanding the Impact of Signing a Severance Agreement

If you have been terminated and received a severance agreement from your employer, it is critical to understand its terms before signing the document. Often, these agreements include complex provisions, legalese, and other phrasing that makes it difficult to understand what the agreement actually entails. Some severance agreements may include provisions that waive the employee’s right to sue the employer for any alleged conduct surrounding the employee’s termination. These provisions usually encompass conduct of which the employee is not aware at the time that he or she executes the severance agreement, giving the agreement an incredibly broad effect.

Another common provision in severance agreements is a non-compete clause, which restricts the terminated employee’s ability to work for a competitor or in the same industry as the former employer. In some cases, these terms also prohibit the employee from using any knowledge or experience that he or she gained while working for the former employer for another employer, including intellectual property that the employee developed. Some severance agreements provide the employee with severance compensation, but the financial impact of a non-compete clause can be far more damaging than any amount of severance pay.

Asserting Your Rights as an Employee

In some situations, an employer may terminate an employee for legitimate business-related reasons like downsizing or redundancy. In other situations, however, an employer’s reasons for termination may involve prohibited discrimination based on gender, race, sexual orientation, national origin, or religion. An employer may also terminate an employee out of retaliation for something that the employee did, even though the action was lawful.

A number of federal, state, and local laws provide protections to employees against discrimination in the workplace, and employees who have suffered from such discrimination are entitled to compensation. If you believe that you have been terminated due to an employer’s discriminatory conduct, you should refrain from executing a severance agreement until you have consulted an experienced employment discrimination lawyer.

Discuss Your Wrongful Termination Claim With a New York City Lawyer

Knowing whether to accept a severance agreement and understanding the legal rights and remedies available to you can be complicated. At Phillips & Associates, our New York City wrongful termination attorneys take pride in providing personalized, compassionate, and diligent legal counsel to people throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens, Staten Island, Long Island and Westchester. We offer a free consultation. If we believe you have a claim for discrimination, and accept your case, we only ask for a fee if we obtain a settlement or a judgment in your favor. We also review and negotiate settlement agreements and severance packages on an hourly fee bases. Call us at (833) 529-3476 or contact us online to set up an appointment.

What Our Clients Say?
"Phillips & Associates did a wonderful job. I would recommend Brittany Stevens." Angel
"Employment dispute I had a dispute with my former employer, Jesse Weinstein was patient and thorough with my case. He covered every angle and was able to help me with my dispute. I would recommend Jesse Weinstein and Phillips and Associates in the future to anyone." Margaret
"Hands down the best law firm for labor disputes in NYC. Being in the restaurant industry for more than 30 years I can say that this law firm is the number one choice for workers in the restaurant business that need to sue their company for wrongful termination. A special compliment to my lawyer Brittany Stevens. An amazing person and well prepared experienced lawyer. She was professional and empathetic to my case and worked in a time appropriate manner. She never miss a phone call at any hour of the day. Brittany and her team helped me with what I needed, when I needed it. I want to thank them all (especially Brittany), for a job well done." Massimo
"Jesse Weinstein handled my discrimination case. He was extremely patient and understanding throughout the process and remained professional and consistent even when I could not. I really felt like he had my back and I didn't have to worry. His expertise, combined with the experience of the Firm, resulted in the best possible outcome of my case. Although I wouldn't wish what I went through on anyone, things do and always will happen and I would highly recommend Jesse and this Firm to anyone facing discrimination or other workplace issues." Karen
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