Our New York Severance Pay Lawyers have counseled many employees of Westchester Medical Center (WMC), Cablevision and Citigroup, who were laid off, had their positions eliminated or were otherwise disciplined. Recently, all three companies who have a substantial presence in Westchester County announced that they intend to eliminate hundreds of positions. These companies employ many Westchester residents. It is crucial for employees to understand their rights and options if their jobs are at risk.
If you were selected for a reduction in force or otherwise terminated and offered a severance agreement, contact our Westchester Employment Lawyers to confidentially learn your rights and see if and how we can maximize the terms of your severance package. During these sluggish economic times where gaps of unemployment are common and it is often difficult to find new employment quickly, it is imperative that you maximize your severance package. We can help you during the difficult process of losing your job. We have counseled hundreds of employees who have been presented with a severance agreement. You should not sign the agreement without speaking with an experienced employment lawyer first – the agreement is written for your former employer’s benefit, not necessarily yours.
The following are just a few examples of why the agreement is not necessarily in your benefit and why you need experienced counsel immediately:
1. Generally, most severance agreements include a release provision that states you are agreeing to never sue your former employer for any reason in the future. There are some exceptions but for the most part – this is why companies provide with you severance. They are buying your promise never to sue them again. If you have a valuable claim against the Company, your severance amount should reflect that. You should speak with experienced employment lawyer to determine if you have a claim against your former employer and what is the value of such a claim. Generally, you cannot sign the severance agreement and then sue your employer for actions that occurred during your employment. Accordingly, it is important for you to act now.
2. Many severance agreements include non-compete and non-solicitation provisions that can negatively impact you for years after your termination and hurt your ability to find a new job. It is critical to review these provisions carefully and understand how they can impact you. Not only could you be unemployed, your ability to find a new job could be made harder as well.
3. Generally, your healthcare coverage will terminate on your last day of employment. As you most likely know, healthcare costs are significant and many former employees cannot afford continuing coverage during periods of unemployment. You should understand whether there is a basis for the company to continue paying your healthcare costs after your termination.
4. You may be entitled to certain payments even if you do not sign the severance agreement. Moreover, the severance agreement can affect your ability to collect unemployment insurance benefits, which can be critical in this time. It is imperative that you understand your rights and obligations if you sign the severance agreement and if you do not.
5. The agreement may preclude you from applying for re-employment with the Company and its affiliates and subsidiaries (which are often not defined). Depending on the size of the Company, you could be precluded for working for a significant number of companies. Again, that is not ideal when you are looking for new employment.
Call our NY, NJ & CT Severance Package Attorneys at (800) 893-9645 to confidentially discuss your rights and options so that you can negotiate the best possible severance package you deserve to help you navigate through these difficult times. We will review your agreement paragraph by paragraph with you so you understand the ins/outs of your agreement. We will let you know how we can maximize your severance package.
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