While severance agreements can provide income to former employees while they search for a new job, many employers use these contacts to inhibit a former worker’s ability to seek employment after they leave a company. Because severance agreements between employers and employees must satisfy state contract laws, either party may try to enforce its terms in court in the event of a breach of contract.
Lawsuits involving severance agreements may demand the specific enforcement of agreed-upon terms as well as damages in the amount of severance pay or pre-determined liquidated damages and related attorneys’ fees. It is advisable to enter negotiations with qualified legal representation when your former boss asks you to sign a severance agreement. A St. Louis severance agreements lawyer at our firm may be able to help you better understand your rights and obligations under these employment contracts. In some instances, an attorney may also be able to increase the amount of severance pay offered to an employee.
A severance agreement is typically signed at the end of someone’s employment with a company. A former employee may receive a lump sum or scheduled payments as income during their search for a new job. In exchange, an employer may demand that they do not take up employment in their field or with competitors for a set period of time or that they do not discuss their private business information with any other party.
When the legality of a severance agreement comes into question, either party may ask the court to consider its legal validity. For example, a local lawyer could help establish whether the contract violates public policy, is not legally enforceable, or requires a party to perform an illegal action. A St. Louis attorney could help either party to a severance agreement understand their rights and obligations under these contracts.
Workers should never feel obligated to sign proposed severance agreements without careful legal examination, because there may be room for significant negotiation. One of our lawyers could represent a former employee’s interests during contract negotiations by asking for a greater benefits package, reducing the length or scope of a non-compete clause, or working to retain fringe benefits such as health insurance or pensions. Having a mutually beneficial severance agreement can help avoid potential conflicts in the future.
Companies often use severance agreements to protect their intellectual property and reduce competition in the marketplace. When a company offers some form of compensation or other benefits as an incentive to sign severance agreements, it is important to examine whether such terms place a former employee at a disadvantage.
When conflicts arise concerning the enforcement of these contracts, a St. Louis severance agreements lawyer may be able to help find a resolution. A member of our team could argue in and out of court on your behalf that a contract is illegal or otherwise unenforceable. We could also represent your interests during negotiations to ensure you get the most out of a proposed severance agreement. Reach out to our firm today to learn more.