Many employers will tie severance pay to an exemption from your legal claims, in which you legally promise not to sue the company for a specific payment. If this is the case, such a severance offer under applicable law does not prevent you from receiving unemployment benefits. More importantly, claims release can also be a source of leverage in negotiating a more generous severance package. In general, the stronger your legal rights, the more severance pay an employer. If your termination of pregnancy appears to be in retaliation for reporting illegal conduct or because of your status in a protected category – such as age, race, gender, pregnancy, disability – you could have significant leverage to negotiate a more generous severance package. This will be an in-depth conversation for you and your lawyer. Finally, it is not uncommon for employers to require employees who leave the company to confirm their non-compete obligations, which can delay an employee`s career development and create unexpected financial barriers. It is important that you understand your employer`s expectations before accepting severance pay and, if necessary, limit the scope of your non-compete obligations to ensure that you can operate faster in the industry you know best. If you offer severance pay to a dismissed employee, it is advisable to give them some time to check if they should be accepted.
Finally, the employee usually waives important rights (such as the right to sue the company) against severance pay. Giving the person time to review the offer helps the company prove that an agreement has not been applied or enforced if necessary. But how much time for reflection should be allowed? Just because a company offers a termination agreement does not mean that an employee must immediately sign and accept the original termination agreement. An employee may waive legal rights that are of greater value than the consideration granted under the severance agreement. For example, if the circumstances of the termination of the employment relationship lead to the conclusion that an employee has a viable right to discrimination in the workplace, for example.B. Age discrimination, racial discrimination, sex discrimination, retaliation, or any other claim protected by federal or Pennsylvania labor laws, the employee may have a claim that is worth much more than the financial consideration provided for in the departure agreement. In such situations, an employee may hire an employment lawyer to try to negotiate higher severance pay or, if necessary, file a charge of discrimination or file a lawsuit. If you are over 40 when you are presented with a settlement offer, the rules are very simple. They have rights under the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act (OWBPA), which Congress passed in 1990.
Under this Act, any dismissed employee over the age of 40 who is offered a severance agreement must have at least 21 days to review the offer. This policy document is not an EEOC regulation or even an application guide, but from the EEOC`s perspective, it summarizes the existing legal requirements for seeding agreements under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Title VII, the Equal Pay Act (EPA) and in particular the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). The publication does not appear to be intended to change existing regulations, but employers should assume that the EEOC will refer to the document when investigating charges or initiating lawsuits involving releases.  See Questions and Answers: Final Regulations on Tenders and Related Issues Related to ADEA Waivers, available at www.eeoc.gov/policy/regs/tenderback-qanda.html. Considering that older workers often need their severance pay to live and that payments may have already been spent on the cost of living, the EEOC regulations clarify that the contractual principles of “re-competition” and “ratification” (approval or ratification of the waiver while retaining the consideration) do not apply to ADEA`s waivers. .