Why should a lawyer review your severance package?
Imagine a scenario where you have just been called into the boss’s office and informed that your services would no longer be required. This can come as quite a shock – but even if you suspected that is was coming, it can be very upsetting. If you have just been let go after a lengthy, employment, you will typically be given a severance agreement that you will be asked to sign in a relatively short timeframe. But you should never sign such an agreement without getting legal advice from an experienced employment lawyer first.
Here are some common reasons why you should always have a lawyer review your severance package.
- Employers are out to protect themselves – not you.
A typical severance offer and contract is drafted by the employer’s lawyers whose job is to reduce the legal and financial risk of the employer. It is meant to protect the employer from being party to future law suits brought forward by the former employee. Once you sign the document, you are releasing the employer from any legal action. As such, it’s important that you have a lawyer review this and ensure your interests are protected before signing this document.
- Most deadlines are artificial and meant to pressure you.
One reason why many people are tempted to sign their severance agreement before consulting with a lawyer is that the employer has given them a tight timeline. Most of the time though, such timelines are legally irrelevant and only meant to pressure you into signing an unfair deal.
While you should still act quickly to consult with a lawyer (since there are deadlines for certain legal claims), you should not let an employer pressure you into acting without legal advice.
- Even good employers can make mistakes.
Even if your employer is trying their best to treat you fairly in their severance package, errors can still occur. When an employment lawyer reviews your package, they will be able to catch any mistakes that might negatively impact your entitlements.
- It’s not just about the money.
Although the amount of severance pay is usually the top concern for a terminated employee, there are also other aspects of your severance package that an employment lawyer can negotiate for you. These items include the continuation of your benefits, pension rights, letters of reference, and so forth.
- This may be one of the largest transactions you ever make.
Particularly in the case of older employees who have been with a company for a number of years, their severance package can be one of the largest financial transactions they ever make next to purchasing a house.
Getting let go from a job can be incredibly stressful and emotionally devastating which can lead to making poor judgements. But an employment lawyer can help ensure you are treated fairly and help prevent you from making costly mistakes during this chaotic time.
Contact Minhas Lawyers today
If you have been recently let go from your job and have been asked to sign a severance agreement, you shouldn’t do so without first seeking the advice of an employment lawyer. An employment lawyer from Minhas Lawyers can review the agreement for you, and negotiate better terms if you are being treated unfairly. Call us today to set up a consultation with our employment lawyer!
Minhas Lawyers LLP is a multi-practice law firm based in Mississauga. We advise and represent clients across various segments and practice areas.
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