Severance agreements may be offered to workers whose employment is terminated, and will typically involve a payment in exchange for a waiver of claims arising from the employment relationship. It is important that a severance agreement addresses the parties’ specific needs. Consult with the New York employment lawyers at Hiller, PC to thoroughly understand your rights and obligations under such an agreement.
A common pitfall of severance agreements includes a conflict with prior confidentiality or non-compete agreements. Does the language in the severance agreement increase the obligations and liabilities of the former employee? Conversely, does it negate the prior agreement? These are questions best answered by your New York employment lawyers.
Changes in New York Laws
Recent changes to New York labor law also have an impact on the validity of provisions within severance agreements. For example, an employer can no longer promise in a severance agreement not to respond to NYDOL’s unemployment insurance inquiries, which, in the past, would have all but guaranteed unemployment benefits to the former employee.
Timing of severance pay should also be evaluated. For example, if the severance agreement provides for one or more payments to the former employee to be made within 30 days of termination, the former employee might not be eligible for unemployment benefits until all severance payments have been paid in full. Again, a careful review of the agreement by our knowledgeable New York employment lawyers can identify issues such as these, as well as their possible financial impacts.
To be valid, a waiver of rights in a severance agreement must be signed knowingly and voluntarily by the former employee, and the waiver must be in exchange for something that is not already owed to the employee, such as accrued vacation pay.
Talk to the New York employment lawyersat Hiller, PC
At Hiller, PC, our New York employment lawyers will make sure you understand exactly what you are giving up and what you are receiving under the terms of a proposed severance agreement. To ensure your rights are protected, call us today to schedule a free initial consultation.