When you get let go from a job, you might be offered severance pay. Severance pay is a benefit granted to those who are being terminated despite a contract in place. Instead of suing the employer, you can take the severance option and the benefits package offered.
If you do not take the severance package, it's possible that you could continue forward with a wrongful termination lawsuit. To release the employer from liability, the employer needs to provide the severance package with enough benefits and compensation to be fair to the employee who is losing their job.
Can you negotiate the terms of a severance agreement?
Yes, you can negotiate a severance agreement. You need to make sure the severance agreement offers you enough money that it meets the requirements of the contract. Additionally, you want to guarantee that you have enough benefits or compensation to last you until you can find work again. You'll also want to make sure there is a release of rights in the agreement along with provisions making sure there is no likelihood of discrimination.
The compensation package you receive may vary from other employees, and that's usually acceptable. For instance, if you have worked for only a year with the employer while another person has worked five, then the likelihood is that the longer-term employee will receive a better offer in their severance package.
There is no law that requires employers to offer a severance package, but it's an option that could prevent lawsuits and help you in the time between a loss of employment and finding new work.