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How to understand and negotiate a severance package

On Behalf of | Jul 28, 2021 | Employment Discrimination

Severance packages have multiple benefits. For employees who are being let go, they provide an extension of benefits and an ability to protect a worker’s reputation after they are no longer with a company. For employers, severance packages can help reduce the risk of a lawsuit and maintain good relations with a former employee. There are tactics that employees in Hawaii can use to negotiate a good severance package.

Key points about severance packages

First, it is critical to understand that severance packages and employment contracts are usually not required by law. However, they are often meant as a way of saying thank you for a long-time history with an employer or to protect the company from future lawsuits. They can include:

  • A lump sum
  • Continuation of benefits for a set period of time
  • Continued use of company equipment, like phones or other electronics
  • Positive recommendations

Important considerations

It may be beneficial to talk with legal counsel about your severance package as it may come with many important distinctions. Chief among them is that accepting a severance package can limit potential lawsuits that you may have against a company. This is important if you are looking at potential legal action as a result of your termination or other time related to your employment.

Furthermore, the time you have to accept a severance agreement is usually not unlimited. It is often a set time, perhaps as little as 21 days, and the package can be withdrawn if an agreement is not reached. It is also important to note that an agreement is often contingent upon both parties agreeing to a non-disparagement clause, meaning that they cannot publicly attack each other.

You may have reservations about signing such an agreement. However, it’s possible to negotiate a package that benefits you as well as the employer.