What is a severance agreement?

A severance agreement, also known as a separation agreement, is a legal contract between an employer and an employee that outlines the terms and conditions surrounding the end of the employment relationship. It typically sets forth the rights and obligations of both parties, often providing financial compensation, benefits continuation, and other considerations to the employee in exchange for their agreement to release any potential legal claims against the employer. The terms of a severance agreement can vary but commonly cover issues such as severance pay, confidentiality provisions, non-compete agreements, and the return of company property. Employees may be asked to sign a severance agreement upon being laid off, terminated, or when leaving a job voluntarily.

Why do employers offer severance packages?

Certain employers choose to provide severance pay to employees who are terminated, whether it be through involuntary or voluntary means. The main purposes behind offering a severance package are to mitigate the impact of an involuntary termination and to prevent potential lawsuits by having the employee sign a release of known or unknown claims in exchange for the severance.

Am I entitled to receive a severance package?

Generally, unless there is a specific employment contract providing for severance, employees are not automatically entitled to severance pay. However, many employers choose to offer severance packages voluntarily as a goodwill gesture, as part of a company policy, or if they want the employee to release legal claims the employee may have against the company.

Can I negotiate the terms of a severance agreement?

In some cases, employers may be open to negotiating certain aspects of the agreement, such as the amount of severance pay, the duration of continued benefits, or the inclusion/exclusion of certain clauses. It is important to approach negotiations with proper understanding and seek legal advice to determine if you should negotiate the severance agreement.

What is a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA)?

A non-disclosure agreement (NDA), also referred to as a confidentiality agreement, is a legally binding contract between an employer and an employee that outlines the confidential information the employer will share and restricts its disclosure to third parties.

What was the reason my employer required me to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA)?

The purpose of an NDA is to protect sensitive and proprietary information from being shared or used without permission, thereby maintaining its confidentiality. This agreement is commonly used when employees have access to proprietary information. Non-disclosure agreements specify what information is considered confidential, the duration of the agreement, the obligations of the employee, and the consequences of breaching the agreement. By signing an NDA, the employee demonstrates their commitment to preserving the confidentiality of the shared information.