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Severance Lawyer in Birmingham
Laid Off? Do Not Sign a Severance Agreement Before Consulting an Employment Attorney!
When terminating an individual's employment, some employers will use a severance agreement to shield themselves from any and all liability. Employers may offer what appears to be a good deal for the employee but, in reality, the employer’s offer is nothing more than a thinly veiled attempt to lure an employee into signing away his/her rights which could be worth substantially more than the employer’s offer. Severance agreements are usually drafted by the employer's attorneys, and thus are drafted for the employer's benefit.
In many situations, these agreements may be what is best for you, but this is not a decision that should be made alone. While many of these agreements seem straightforward and simple, there are often stringent obligations and hardships hidden within the agreement that are meant for the benefit of the employer and to the detriment of the employee.
If your employer has offered you a severance package, don't sign anything before consulting with Michel | King. To request a free and confidential case evaluation with an experienced employment law attorney, call us now at (205) 265-1880.
What You Need to Know About Severance Agreements
The main goal of a severance agreement is most often to protect the employer. In order to accomplish this goal, the agreement will effectively waive all of an employee's legal causes of action which they could otherwise bring in court from the beginning of time to the date the severance agreement is signed. This is usually achieved through a long and convoluted list of separate rights an employee will waive if the agreement is signed.
Other common clauses in severance agreements include:
- Confidentiality clauses
- Non-disparagement clauses
- Good bye forever clauses
- Non-compete clauses
- Non-solicit clauses
Severance Pay Laws: Is Severance Pay Legally Required?
In Alabama, unless there is a specific contract stating otherwise, employers are not required to offer severance pay regardless of the reason for the employee's departure from the company. However, if the employer does offer a severance package and the employee signs it, that contract is likely legally enforceable. This is why it is so important to have an employment attorney look over a severance offer before anything is signed.
How Long Do You Have to Decide Whether to Accept a Severance Package?
Many employers give a severance agreement to an employee with twenty-one (21) days or less to consider the offer or face termination. It is important to understand that signing this severance agreement is only one of your options. In some situations, you may have a legal cause of action against your employer that would be waived if you signed the agreement. When faced with a severance agreement, it is important to seek legal counsel to determine whether signing the agreement is the best course of action for you.
Put Decades of Experience on Your Side
Employers do not read and interpret legal documents alone, and neither should you. Call Michel | King today so that our experienced employment lawyers can review your severance agreement and give you all the tools you need to make the best decision. Our attorneys have reviewed, drafted and negotiated thousands of severance agreements for hardworking individuals throughout Alabama. When it comes to whether you should sign a severance agreement, our attorneys strive to ensure that you have all the relevant information and tools at your disposal to make the best possible decision for you and your family.
Our Birmingham severance lawyers protect employees throughout the state of Alabama. Contact us today to schedule your free and confidential case evaluation!