Severance packages are pay and benefits offered to employees when they are let go from their job. They’re most common for employees who have been laid off or who retire. In some cases, they could be offered to employees who resign or are fired. While many severance packages are helpful to employees as they transition to a new company, there are numerous instances in which an employer violates the terms of the agreement.
The Law Offices of Dan A. Atkerson can help Allen, TX workers experiencing legal issues surrounding a severance agreement. Let’s consider these kinds of lawsuits and why it’s important to work with an attorney.
Common Elements in a Severance Package
The reason severance packages are so valued are the payouts and other benefits that employees receive. Some common benefits and payments included in a severance package include:
- Payment for unused sick days and vacation time
- Additional payment for time spent at the company
- Health insurance
- Retirement benefits
- Stock options
- Aid in finding new employment
Keep in mind that severance packages vary and are generally not required by law. The exact contents of your severance package (if you receive one) are not going to be the same as others, even for co-workers in the same company.
When Employers Fail to Uphold Severance Agreements
A severance agreement is a contract, meaning that employers and employees enter into this legal agreement together. If an employee is not given the benefits or pay that was specified in the severance package, that is a breach of contract. Our Allen law firm can help.
These breaches in a severance agreement could involve reduced or withheld payment for paid time off, no access to medical or dental benefits promised, failure to provide retirement benefits or job placement assistance, and so forth. It’s important that you hold an employer accountable for their end of the agreement if you’ve upheld yours.
Ways Employers May Dispute a Severance Agreement Breach
Many severance packages have certain stipulations regarding the actions of a former employee after they’ve left a company. Adhering to these stipulations is required to receive any specified pay or benefits.
- Non-Compete Clauses - Your employer may include language that prevents you from seeking employment in a different company in the same field for a specified amount of time.
- Restrictions on Unemployment Benefits - Your employer may specify that you cannot apply for unemployment while also receiving a severance package.
- Agreement to Avoid Litigation - Some severance packages are given so long as the employee agrees not to sue their employer.
An employer may cite a violation of these and other stipulations as a reason to breach the severance agreement. Of course, if the employer fails to uphold their end of the severance agreement and you have followed the language of the contract to the letter, you have a strong legal case.
Holding Your Employer Accountable for Breach of Contract
It’s important to seek the aid of an employment law attorney if your severance package has been violated. They can look over the language of your severance agreement and help you recover the payments or benefits that you are rightfully owed.
Learn More About Severance Agreement Disputes
If you live in the Allen area and would like more information about your legal options regarding severance agreement breaches, be sure to contact a skilled workplace rights and employment law attorney. The Law Offices of Dan A. Atkerson can be reached by phone at (214) 383-3606.