7 things to know before signing a severance package

Nothing is probably worse than knowing that you have been laid off. Probably, you didn’t see it coming, and now your entire future seems to be at stake. Before you start searching for new jobs, it is time to deal with a severance package. The severance package includes your severance pay and an agreement with a set of documents that you must sign to get the payment. In this post, you will learn more about seven things that matter before you sign the agreement.

  1. Do not sign right away. You might want to be done with the process and start a new job, but avoid signing the agreement unless you understand the terms and conditions. More importantly, you usually have time to sign, so there is no reason to hurry.
  2. Get employee survival guides. Many law firms have these guides on how to deal with severance packages. The contents can be pretty insightful, and if you choose the right one, you may not need to consult an attorney further.
  3. Call a lawyer when necessary. If you still don’t know whether the pay and agreement are worth considering, get a legal expert to look at the documents. Employment lawyers who work extensively for employees can offer bespoke solutions.
  4. Consider the give and take. The severance package is not about goodwill for the employer. Either they are bound by the employment contract or have other motives. For instance, if you were wrongfully fired, the employer could be worried about whether you would file a lawsuit, which could mean more consequences and paying a lot more if you win.
  5. Recheck your offer letter. Your HR will help you with the initial employment contract if you don’t have a copy. read every detail of the offer letter and find out whether there are enlisted terms and conditions of separation.
  6. Figure out what you can negotiate. Not every aspect of the severance package is on the table for further bargaining. Your employment lawyer will usually tell you about the pros and cons of the deal, and if you have been offered a lumpsum amount, they can also guide you on tax implications.
  7. Set clear goals. What if your employer refuses to accept any of your requests related to the negotiation? Depending on the circumstances, you may have the scope to take further action, especially when you have evidence of discrimination or wrongful termination.

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