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Four Things Employees Should Know About Severance Agreements


Are you an employee who is considering leaving your position? If so, you may be offered a severance package as part of the termination process. In far too many cases, Florida employees simply agree to sign the initial severance agreement that is offered to them by their company. Unfortunately, this is sometimes a serious mistake.

Employers do not always offer fair severance agreements to workers. Our Miami employment lawyers want to make sure that you have the knowledge and legal resources required to protect your rights and interests. In this article, we highlight the four key things South Florida workers should understand about severance benefits.

  1. Severance Pay is Not Required Under the FLSA

Employees should be aware of the fact that severance pay is not required as a matter of U.S. labor laws. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) does not include any overriding requirement that companies offer any class of workers severance benefits. Likewise, Florida state labor law regulations do not require severance pay. Instead, severance benefits are offered as part of a bargained-for exchange between companies and their workers. 

  1. You Have a Right to Negotiate Your Severance Package

You are under no obligation to sign the severance agreement that has been placed in front of you. In fact, you are not under an obligation to sign any severance agreement at all. Of course, if you do not sign then you will not get the benefits. However, the key point to recognize is that those benefits are only being offered to you in exchange for value to the employer. Your employer wants something from you. You have the right to negotiate the terms of your severance. 

  1. Understand the Value of What You are Giving Up

Typically, severance agreements ask any employee to agree to some (or all) of the following provisions:

  • A release of claims against the company;
  • A confidentiality clause;
  • A non-disparagement provision; and
  • A non compete provision.

If your company is asking you to agree to any of those provisions, or to any other sacrifice, please remember that you are offering your employer a real benefit. As such, you should get fair value in return for what you are giving your employer.  

  1. A Florida Employment Law Lawyer Can Help

It is recommended that you have your severance agreement negotiated, drafted, and reviewed by an experienced Florida employment law attorney. Your attorney will be able to assess the unique circumstances of your case, and help you come to the best possible deal, so that you can get the full severance package that you rightfully deserve.

Get Help With Your Severance Agreement Today

At Pike & Lustig, LLP, we have skills and experience needed to negotiate and review your severance agreement. For a free review of your case, please give us a call today to schedule your initial consultation. From our main office in West Palm Beach and our secondary office in Miami, we are proud to serve communities throughout the region, including in Jupiter, Palm Beach Gardens, Lake Worth, and Delray Beach.



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