Meticulously examining your severance agreement is crucial in protecting your employee rights and negotiating a favorable offer. However, if you focus solely on the contents of the document, your rights related to the actual signing of the agreement might slip your mind.
When dealing with severance offers, you have to be conscious of both the substantive and procedural aspects of the agreement.
Right to a reasonable review period
California laws prohibit employers from requiring separating employees to sign the severance agreement on the same day they offered it. Employers have to provide departing employees at least five days from the offer to review the document.
Nonetheless, employees may sign the agreement before the reasonable time period is up as long as they do so voluntarily and absent any misconduct by their employer that may have induced the early signing.
Right to consult an attorney
Employers also have to inform employees of their right to consult an attorney about the contents of the agreement. Some employees may rely on the fact that an attorney drafted their severance agreements and trust that the terms will not be detrimental to them. However, attorneys who draft severance agreements act on behalf of employers. Consequently, the contents of the document are likely to favor the employer. Hence, exercising the right to seek legal advice is important.
Anticipation is key
Several issues can come up with severance agreements. Nevertheless, you can anticipate these issues by knowing your rights and developing possible strategies accordingly in case they do happen. Moreover, working with a competent and committed legal team can help you realize your goals as an employee.