Legal Guide

How a Lawyer Can Help Negotiate a Severance Package

When an employee is dismissed from their job, they may be eligible for severance pay. This article will explore what severance pay is, and how a lawyer can help negotiate a good package.

It can be financially lucrative to consider a severance package review so that you do not miss out on monies that you are entitled to. It would be so easy to just walk away and not fight for what you are due, but that money may well come in handy as you look for another job. Everyone has bills to pay and savings only last so long.

What is severance pay?

Severance pay is a form of financial compensation that an employer may provide to an employee dismissed from their job. It is intended to help the employee cover the costs of finding new employment, such as resume preparation and interview expenses.

An employer is not required to provide severance pay, but it is often included in employment contracts. If an employer does not have a severance pay provision in their employment agreement or contract, they may still choose to provide severance pay to their employees.

There is that temptation with entitlements to not exactly promote them because this would mean paying out money that could have been saved. This is where a lawyer proves useful in ensuring former employees do not lose out because of simply not speaking out or knowing enough about what they are owed.

How can a lawyer help?

A lawyer can help negotiate a severance package on your behalf. They will review your employment contract and determine what severance pay you may be entitled to. Employment lawyers will then negotiate with your employer on your behalf to try and reach a severance agreement.

Employees that have been dismissed likely find it difficult to negotiate with their former employers directly and so appreciate the help of a lawyer for that reason. As well, a legal representative who knows employment law inside out will be a valuable ally on your side if you are in this situation. They can find the very best severance deal and one that will make it well worth having contacted them for help.

The factors that determine severance pay

There are a few factors that will affect the amount of severance pay you may be entitled to. These include:

  • The length of your employment: The longer you have been employed, the more severance pay you may be entitled to.
  • Your position: Employees in higher positions may be entitled to more severance pay than those in lower positions.
  • The reason for your dismissal: If you are dismissed for a reason such as misconduct, you may not be granted severance pay.
  • Your employment agreement: If severance pay is included in your employment contract, this will determine the amount of severance pay you qualify for.

Lawyers will look at the small print and ask employees about their situation to determine a fair rate. The overwhelming factor is likely to be how long someone has worked for their employer. There should be a reward for loyalty and a lawyer specializing in employment law can make sure of it.

A higher position will carry more salary and so mean that higher potential earnings are lost when someone is dismissed from their job for whatever reason. This makes the compensation pay a greater one as an employee will be accustomed to that standard of living and have the bills to match and provide for in the interim before finding another job.

It does, of course, depend on why an employer let their member of staff go. If blame is placed on the employee, then it may be felt that severance payments are not to be paid. A lawyer may then be looking to argue how much an employee was perhaps to blame. Was there provocation, for instance, or mitigating circumstances?

Lawyers are good at understanding contracts, and therefore those relating to employment, and so can help clients interpret them, even if it is after the event.

If you have been dismissed from your job, contact a lawyer today to see how they can help you.

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