Our Award Winning New York Severance Agreement Lawyer has counseled employees and former employees of Pepsico including its affiliates, subsidiaries or related companies (i.e., Frito Lay, Quaker Oats, etc.) Pepsico, which has its headquarters in Purchase, Westchester County, is one of the largest food and beverage producers in the world and reportedly has more than 270,000 employees. In recent years, the Company has instituted some layoffs. If you have been affected by a layoff or a job separation for other reasons (e.g., termination for cause, resignation, discrimination, harassment, retaliation), you should consult with an experienced employment lawyer to learn your rights and options.
Although companies in general are not required to provide severance pay, many do primarily in order to obtain a general release of claims. If you have been presented with a severance agreement, it is important to have it reviewed by an attorney before you decide whether to execute it or not. We have discussed severance issues before and some prior informational posts can be found here and here. Some issues to consider:
1. Do you have a legal claim that is greater than the severance offered? Although most employees are considered employed “at will” and can be fired for no reason and/or without cause, there are some exceptions. One set of the exceptions is that the employee may not be terminated for unlawful reasons such as employment discrimination, sexual harassment, or retaliation for making certain complaints. For example, if you make a protected complaint of discrimination or other certain unlawful actions and you are shortly thereafter terminated, you may have a claim as a whistleblower. Employment claims are very fact specific and require individualized analysis by a lawyer. The analysis should include whether you have a strong or weak claim, what your options are and what possible outcomes may be. If you decide to pursue a claim, you would be rejecting the severance offer so it is important to do your due diligence before hand. We have helped clients increase their severance packages and depending on your circumstances may be able to help you as well.
2. Is there a non-compete provision that limits your ability to find a new job? This is an increasing important issue for workers. Many employers are requiring employees to sign non-compete and confidentiality agreements upon hire. If you have a non-compete agreement and the severance agreement is asking you to affirm its obligations, this is a critical issue to consider and its potential impact. You could be out of a job and precluded for working for a competitor. There are certain situations where you can argue that the non-compete should not apply but those are very fact specific. Did you employer breach its obligations to you? Did your employer terminate you without cause? Is the non-compete agreement drafted within the parameters allowed by the law? There are some questions to consider.
These are only two issues and there are many more to consider (e.g., interplay with unemployment insurance benefits application, confidentiality, etc.) If you have any questions about your severance agreement or job at Pepsico, feel free to call our NY Severance Agreement Attorney at (914) 723-7900 for a confidential consultation. We may be able to help improve your severance package.
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