Seasoned Counsel for Executive Severance Package Negotiation
Whether you’re leaving a job by choice or as a result of less pleasant circumstances, the terms of your executive severance package can have a significant bearing on your financial and occupational future. Working out the terms of your severance agreement with an employment attorney from Halunen Law is a wise move to ensure your best interests are served.
Voted Minnesota’s Best Employment Lawyer.
Your Severance Amount Is Negotiable.
Companies and their executives part ways all the time. Sometimes, the executive leaves to pursue a more attractive and lucrative opportunity. Other times, however, deteriorating relationships, disputes or broader economic and strategic factors lead to an involuntary or even acrimonious separation. Regardless of the why surrounding an executive’s departure, how the relationship ends – the terms of a severance package – will play an oversized role in determining the executive’s financial and career future.
At Halunen Law, we work with C-suite executives, managers and other high-level employees across the country to negotiate severance packages that maximize the economic benefits they receive upon separation. We leverage powerful negotiating skills and unmatched employment law experience to ensure that severance agreements provide the security, clarity and peace of mind our clients deserve after years – or decades – of hard work and sacrifice
Negotiating a New Beginning at the End of Your Tenure.
If your tenure at your current employer is coming to an unexpected or undesired end, it can be a time of anxiety and uncertainty, as well as one tinged with bitterness or resentment. It can also be a moment of opportunity – if you have the allies and advocates who know how to seize it.
Halunen Law’s employment lawyers negotiate robust and generous severance packages all the time, just like your employer does. Working closely with you, we can develop an approach that puts you in the strongest possible position to obtain more compensation, benefits and concessions, as well as minimize any limitations on your post-departure business activities and opportunities.
Unfortunately, too many otherwise business-savvy executives simply take whatever their employer gives them in a severance package – if the company offers anything. But signing a severance or separation agreement without negotiating or consulting an experienced labor and employment attorney can be a costly error.
Even if you think you have no leverage, even if you want to put this chapter in your life behind you as quickly as possible, don’t shortchange yourself and your family. Let us help you turn the page on this chapter of your career in a way that lays the foundation for a prosperous new one.
Severance Package Negotiation FAQs
Does my employer have to give me severance pay or benefits?
Unless you have an employment contract or company policy that says otherwise, are subject to a collective bargaining agreement that provides for severance or your employer wrongfully terminated you for reasons prohibited by law, your employer owes you nothing upon your departure. Beyond legally required items such as COBRA health insurance coverage or earned vacation or sick time, they don’t have to pay you weeks or months of severance pay, unearned benefits or any other consideration.
Why would my employer offer me severance pay and other benefits if they don’t have to?
While the law generally doesn’t require employers to offer their employees severance packages upon termination, they often do. Sometimes, severance pay and benefits are gestures of goodwill and gratitude. More often, however, an employer will negotiate and offer a generous package out of pure self-interest. This is especially the case where the departing employee may have potential claims against the employer for such things as discrimination, harassment, whistleblower retaliation or wrongful termination
That’s because most severance agreements serve as an insurance policy for the employer against such claims, insulating them from future liability related to the employment relationship. In exchange for severance pay and benefits, the employer will expect the employee to release and forfeit any potential claims they have or may have against the employer.
Similarly, an employer may use a severance agreement as a vehicle for limiting the employee’s competitive activities after their departure. Employees must tread with caution if presented with such provisions. Noncompetition and nonsolicitation clauses in a severance agreement are valuable promises to the employer but can severely hamstring the employee’s ability to pursue new opportunities if they’re too broad and restrictive.
What goes into a severance agreement beyond salary for a while after I leave?
Your salary was likely only one element of your overall executive compensation package while working at your soon-to-be-former company. Be sure to consider and account for your health benefits, stock options and other equity opportunities, as well as paid leave and vacation days, bonuses and incentives as you negotiate the terms of your departure.
As noted, separation or severance agreements also contain ancillary terms that may limit the rights of or impose obligations on one or both parties. For example, in addition to releases of claims and noncompetition/nonsolicitation clauses, a severance agreement may include confidentiality and nondisparagement provisions that can keep both sides from bad-mouthing the other. These terms require just as much attention as those involving dollars and cents.
Leave on Your Terms Not Theirs
Your employer may have decided to end your tenure, but you can choose to take advantage of your circumstances rather than just take what your employer offers. At Halunen Law, we understand how personal and consequential career transitions can be. That’s why we use our experience, negotiating acumen and commitment to secure severance packages that benefit you as much as you benefited your employer.
If you have questions about the terms of a proposed severance agreement or would like help negotiating the terms of your departure, please contact Halunen Law or call us at (612) 260-5383 for a free consultation.