Severance Benefits

ERISA • Employment Law

Severance Benefits

Typically, employees are not entitled to a severance package by law. A severance package is usually negotiated between you and your employer. When crafted properly, a severance package provides important benefits to both parties: the employee gets financial compensation and the employer gets certain legal protections.

At The Garner Firm, Philadelphia severance benefits attorney Adam H. Garner has extensive experience drafting, negotiating and litigating severance agreements. If you have any questions or concerns about your severance benefits or your severance agreement, please contact Mr. Garner today to schedule a free consultation.

What You Need to Know About Severance Benefits

Employees do not generally have an automatic right to receive severance benefits. Neither federal laws, nor most state laws require employers to offer severance pay to any class of worker. Instead, severance benefits are offered by employers as part of a voluntary agreement with a departing worker. Sometimes severance benefits are part of an established severance benefits plan governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), while other times severance benefits are offered to individual employees on a case-by-case basis. Of course, this raises an important question: what is in it for the company? If your intuition says that your employer would not give severance benefits away for nothing, you are generally correct.

Most employers offer severance benefits to get something in return from the soon-to-be former employee. Most frequently, employers will look to receive release of claims that essentially requires the departing employee to agree that they will not file a lawsuit against the company. In other cases, the employer may want to offer severance pay in exchange for confidentiality or for an agreement not to disparage the company.

Know Your Worth, Know Your Agreement

You should remember that the term “severance benefits” works in both directions. The benefits are not just for the worker. All parties to the agreement are obtaining a benefit. As severance benefits are also offered for the benefit of the employer, it is imperative that employees know exactly what they are worth so that they are able to get a fair deal. Before agreeing to accept severance benefits in exchange for something, you should know:

  • The exact type and amount of benefits that are being paid to you; and
  • Your obligations under the agreement.

Should any type of dispute over your severance benefits arise, you should contact an experienced employment law attorney as soon as possible.

Contact Our Philadelphia Severance Benefits Lawyers

If you are having any trouble getting the full severance benefits that are owed to you, or negotiating a severance agreement, our employment law attorney can help. At The Garner Firm, we have extensive experience handling severance benefits cases. To get immediate assistance, please call us today at (215) 645-5955 to request your free legal consultation.

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Mr. Garner is an ERISA employee benefits and employment attorney with over a decade of experience. The laws governing employee benefits, the employment relationship, and the workplace are complex.

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