An Employment Severance Agreement Explained in Detail
Source: Carey & Associates, PC
By Mark Carey
Whether or not you use an employment attorney to review and negotiate your employment severance agreement, you need to know the mechanics of the agreement. Generally, all severance agreements accomplish one task, paying employees to release their claims against the company in exchange for money and confidentiality. I have seen thousands of these agreements in my twenty-five years of practicing employment law for employees and executives. They are all relatively the same in the terms, but differ in their layout.
Every severance agreement contains a non-disparagement clause, but one only applicable to the employee and not the employer. We advise clients to include a mutual non-disparagement clause to be signed by the employer so it does not engage in blacklisting, which is a very real phenomenon.
We often see employers sneaking into severance agreements brand new non-competition and non-solicitation provisions where none previously existed during the employee’s employment… The following discussion will go in depth and explain the legal terms in an understandable way…
Nick’s take on the severance agreement
My buddy Mark Carey, a leading employment attorney who represents only executives and employees (not employers), shows you how to hack that severance agreement. You don’t need to hire Mark to get his insights and advice about how to protect yourself when you part ways with an employer — he shares a lot here! I learned a couple of things myself. (Don’t miss Mark’s column about employment at will on Ask The Headhunter.)
What’s your take? Do you have a severance agreement? Has one ever hamstrung you? Got a horror story? How about a positive experience with a severance deal? Let’s dissect these agreements!