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Albany Severance Lawyer

Albany severance lawyers at Bailey, Johnson, & Peck, P.C. are dedicated to supporting top executives and employers through the intricacies of negotiating severance agreements. As experienced attorneys, our expertise in navigating the complexities of employment law ensures that each client receives a severance package that not only meets legal standards outlined by local and federal law but also aligns with their strategic business and personal objectives.

Our Albany severance lawyers provide thorough, tailored legal review and counsel to help you understand your rights and leverage them effectively during severance negotiations, ensuring the severance terms enhance your future career prospects while safeguarding your current interests. Our employment attorneys are your ideal partners in managing the critical elements of severance packages in Albany, delivering employment contract solutions that protect and advance your professional and organizational goals.

If you are interested in drafting, negotiating, or financing a severance agreement, the Albany employment and labor lawyers at Bailey, Johnson & Peck are here to help. Whether you’re an employer looking to draft a severance agreement for an employee or an employee wanting to negotiate a better severance package, our experienced employment lawyers can guide you through the process, defending your interests and legal rights at every step. 

Let an Albany employment contract lawyer from Bailey, Johnson, & Peck, P.C. provide you with the legal representation you deserve–call us at 518-456-0082 to schedule a free consultation today.

Albany Severance Lawyer

What is Included in a Typical Severance Package?

Typical severance packages include a few key components, which all come together to help departing employees, usually higher-level executives, transition out of their roles. The most common part of a severance agreement is severance pay, which normally comes in a lump sum payment to help financially support the employee following their termination. 

However, in order for an employee to receive benefits outlined in severance packages, they must agree to certain provisions, which typically benefit the employer more than they benefit the employee. Below are some of the most common severance package provisions. 

Many severance agreements require employees to release their rights to file certain legal claims, like wrongful termination claims, against their former employers after leaving the company. Employers usually offer employees other forms of consideration (benefits that the employee wouldn’t receive normally) in exchange for this kind of legal release. This protects the employer from legal action and provides the employee with adequate benefits in exchange for their cooperation following a termination.

However, it’s important to note that a release of legal claims can only protect the employer to a certain extent and may not prevent the employee from filing an age or employment discrimination claim, workers’ compensation claim, or certain other potential legal claims.

In a severance package, a confidentiality agreement ensures the employee agrees not to reveal sensitive information and trade secrets they learned from their former employer to third parties. This is often included in higher-level severance packages for those who have access to sensitive or confidential information. 

For employers, this provision helps protect their intellectual property and maintain a competitive advantage in their market. For former employees, this can help preserve their professional reputation and ensure privacy, which can be beneficial for job search and future employment opportunities.

Non-disparagement agreements prohibit both the employer and the departing employee from making negative or disparaging remarks about each other. A non-disparagement agreement helps maintain positive relationships between former employers and previous co-workers and can protect the reputations of both parties. By fostering a culture of respect and professionalism, non-disparagement agreements can help facilitate an amicable separation.

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When Not to Sign a Severance Agreement in New York

For severance package review, it’s crucial to avoid agreeing to terms that heavily favor one party in the severance agreement and undermine the other party’s rights and interests. More often than not, unfair severance agreements tend to favor the employer rather than the employee, often preventing employees from receiving specific benefits. 

If you are an employee, it’s important to have a severance lawyer review your severance agreement before signing a severance offer. Below are some of the negative severance clauses many employers add to severance agreement terms.

Signing a severance agreement with a one-sided release, non-disparagement, or confidentiality agreement can potentially harm an employee following their termination. Severance packages with one-sided clauses often heavily favor the employer’s interests, restricting the employee’s ability to discuss their experiences or pursue legal action. 

Such imbalance leaves many employees vulnerable to unfair treatment or prevents them from seeking justice in cases of workplace misconduct or discrimination. If your employer approaches you with a severance agreement that includes these one-sided clauses, carefully review the terms of the agreement and consider seeking legal review before signing the severance package.

A clawback provision for certain benefits provided in a severance agreement can also be detrimental to employees in New York. This provision allows the company to reclaim certain severance benefits if the employee breaches specific terms of their severance agreement, like disclosing confidential information or engaging with the company’s customers after securing new employment.

While this may seem like it’s designed to simply protect employer interests and ensure compliance with severance agreements, it deters many employees from agreeing to a severance package for fear of losing their benefits.

In order to ensure your severance agreement is legal and beneficial to you, seek legal counsel from experienced Albany labor and employment attorneys. 

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Special Severance Terms in Employment Contracts

In addition to the standard severance package provisions, there are a few additional terms that may be added to an employment contract that can affect benefits. Many of these terms are added to employment contracts depending on the company’s policies and other industry standards. Below are some of the different special severance terms included in employment contracts.

Non-compete agreements are special terms that restrict former employees from working for competing companies, engaging with the company’s customers, or from starting a similar business for a certain period after leaving their current employer. These non-compete agreements can negatively affect employees following their termination since this can limit future employment options and restrict professional mobility.

Some form of non-compete agreement is often included in employment contracts for higher-level executives. However, we’re seeing these agreements in employment contracts for underpaid industries, as well. It’s important to understand the implications a non-compete agreement may have on your life post-employment.

Stock options and restricted stock units (RSUs) are forms of equity compensation that certain companies may offer their higher-level employees to incentivize them to contribute to the company’s growth and success. The vesting period of these RSUs and stock options refers to the timeframe over which employees gain legal rights to these incentives.

Upon termination, the extent to which these units or options have vested can greatly impact an employee’s financial situation. If not fully vested, employees may forfeit unvested RSUs or options, resulting in a loss of potential earnings. It’s important to keep this in mind when agreeing to an employment contract since it may reduce the financial benefits you receive following termination.

Stock options typically come with an expiration date, after which they become worthless. This part of an employment contract can affect an employee following their termination in the event that they fail to exercise their options before the expiration date. Employees may lose out on the opportunity to purchase company stock at a favorable price, potentially missing out on significant financial gains following termination.

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When Should You Hire a Lawyer for Severance Negotiations in Albany, NY?

Whether you’re an employer or employee, negotiating severance agreements can be difficult without an employment law attorney on your side, especially if any disputes with the severance package arise. If you are an employer and your employee wants additional benefits, or you’re an employee looking to negotiate a better severance package, seek legal counsel from Albany severance lawyers like those at Bailey, Johnson & Peck. 

Our Albany severance lawyers have extensive experience drafting, reviewing, editing, and negotiating severance agreements. We can provide a legal review to flag legal concerns, or for a more in-depth attorney-client relationship, our employment attorneys can draft, propose, and negotiate directly with the other party.

For employers, our severance lawyers can provide legal counsel in drafting clear and equitable severance packages that comply with state and federal law, as well as company policies.

For employees, our severance lawyers advocate for fair and favorable severance packages, reviewing agreements, assessing entitlements, and negotiating severance agreements on your behalf to ensure your legal rights and interests are protected long-term.

How to Find the Right Attorney for Negotiating Severance Agreements in New York

When looking for the right attorney for severance negotiation in Albany, New York, search for local employment attorneys who have experience handling severance agreements. They will have the knowledge and skills needed to help both parties negotiate severance packages effectively

If you are looking for a severance negotiation attorney in Albany, NY, look no further than Bailey, Johnson & Peck, P.C., your trusted labor and employment law firm. We can help employers draft, edit, and finalize their severance agreements and can provide employees with a thorough legal review of the severance package, ensuring both sides benefit from the severance agreement. 

New York Severance Agreements FAQ

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A severance package is an employment agreement that offers financial and other benefits to an employee upon termination of employment. It typically includes compensation, such as severance pay, as well as a continuation of health insurance benefits and other perks, which are provided in exchange for the employee’s agreement to certain conditions. These agreements are often offered to executives and other high-level employees to incentivize them to stay with the company and to provide them with financial stability in the event of a termination. Benefits and compensation can vary depending on various factors, like the number of years the employee was with the company.

Severance pay is a form of compensation provided by an employer to an employee who is terminated from their job. It is typically based on factors such as the employee’s length of service, salary, and company policy. Severance pay is usually calculated as a lump sum or paid out over a specified period of time, depending on the severance agreement terms.

Yes, severance pay is generally considered taxable income. It is subject to federal income tax, as well as applicable state and local taxes. Employers are typically required to withhold taxes from severance payments, similar to regular wages. However, certain portions of severance pay, such as payments for unused vacation or sick leave, may be treated differently for tax purposes. It’s advisable for recipients of severance pay to consult with a tax professional to understand the specific tax obligations of their unique severance agreement.

No state or federal laws mandate severance pay for employees, but some states require severance pay in the event of certain circumstances, like mass layoffs or plant closures. These include states like Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Rhode Island. New York State does not require employers to provide employees with severance pay under any circumstances. It’s important to note that while severance pay is not mandatory, employers are legally responsible for abiding by the terms of any severance agreement that they and their employees sign. For example, if your employer offers you a severance package, you accept it, and you both sign the agreement, your employer has to abide by the terms of the agreement in the event that you are terminated.

This depends on the terms of your severance agreement. Some employers may include a provision in the agreement that will prevent you from receiving severance pay and income from a new job at the same time. Additionally, if your new job violates the terms of your employment contract or severance agreement, your benefits may stop. It’s essential to carefully review the terms of your severance agreement to understand any conditions related to receiving payments, including the impact of finding another job. Additionally, discussing this matter with an employment lawyer can help provide you with clarity on your specific situation.

No, severance pay is not required by any federal or state laws except under very specific circumstances in a handful of states. A local employment attorney can help you understand your state’s severance pay requirements and what you should be entitled to in the event of something like a mass layoff or plant closure. 

Yes, in New York, you can negotiate your severance agreement with your employer or employee, depending on which side of the agreement you are on. While there is no legal requirement for employers to offer severance pay, many employers are willing to negotiate severance packages with departing employees, especially for higher-level positions or in cases of wrongful termination.

If you’re an employee looking to negotiate a severance package with your employer, or you’ve been approached with a severance package that you’d like to gain more from, severance lawyers can help negotiate with your employer regarding your severance. Additionally, if you’re an employer wanting to engage in constructive negotiations with an employee regarding their severance package, local employment lawyers can help facilitate those discussions.

At Bailey, Johnson & Peck, our attorneys are experienced in representing employees and employers in severance negotiations. We can ensure that you receive a favorable agreement, protecting your rights and interests throughout the process.

A typical severance package often includes several components, such as severance pay based on the employee’s length of service, continuation of health insurance for a specified period, and possibly additional perks like outplacement assistance or retirement benefits. 

The exact contents of a severance package can vary depending on factors such as the employee’s position, company policy, and reason for termination. For employees, it’s important to review your severance package thoroughly, ensuring that you actually benefit from the agreement before you sign it.

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Albany Employment Attorneys for Severance Agreements

At Bailey, Johnson & Peck, P.C., our Albany employment lawyers are experienced in handling every aspect of a severance agreement, from drafting and editing the agreement to negotiating and finalizing the terms. With a deep understanding of New York labor laws and extensive experience in employment law, we are committed to protecting the rights and interests of our clients, whether they are the employer or the employee.

If you are an employer seeking guidance on severance agreements or an employee in need of assistance with negotiating your severance package, contact us today. We’re ready to represent you and protect your rights and interests throughout the process. Call us at 518-456-0082 or fill out our online form to schedule a free initial consultation with a member of our legal team.

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