“You want to be careful in claiming different severance pay during a group separation,” says lawyer Kristin Michaels of McDermott Will-Emery in Chicago. “Otherwise, an employer may open up to the assertion that it has acted in a discriminatory manner.” There are a number of important legal and economic issues that should be taken into account when negotiating an employment agreement. If you are over 40 years old and the company offers you a compensation package, the company must give you at least 21 days to review it and 7 days to revoke the package. It will often be advisable to consult a lawyer who is an expert in solving these problems. And your ability to obtain severance pay or additional benefits depends on any bargaining leverage and any potential claims against the company you may have. Given the tougher implementation climate, it is more important than ever for employers to re-examine their severance policies and consult with legal advisors. Here`s the advice to make sure your practices reflect the government`s current thinking: keep in mind that the way you behave during contract negotiation is essential to getting what you want, or at least to find common ground between you and your employer, so that you can leave both understanding and approving contractual terms. That`s why it`s important that you be respectful. This means that you should also keep in mind that you are negotiating financial terms and potential benefits that you may need to keep until you can find another job. Don`t be afraid to say words and say no; That`s when the worst thing that could happen – getting fired – has already happened. Repeat and emphasize employee rights. The EEOC surprised many in 2012 by suing pharmaceutical giant CVS Caremark, arguing that the company`s severance agreement was too broad and did not make it clear that a former employee had the right to cooperate with state investigators. Although the severance policy contained a standard language that explicitly protected the right of workers to discriminate, the EEOC asserted that the provision does not go far enough and called it “a single qualification phrase that is not repeated anywhere else in the agreement.” Although the appeal was rejected on technical grounds, some experts believe it is a sign of the times in terms of state control.
When career coach Kristi Andrus split from a former employer, she thought she had earned more than the amount offered. The agreement had a very short validity date – basically, the starting and performance clock began to work from the date of its signing.