Being let go is challenging, especially when it’s due to a decrease in business, restructuring, or some other reason that’s outside of your control. Some employers use severance pay to support terminated employees and ease the transition into unemployment, while simultaneously ensuring that their own terms are met. Employers use severance pay to protect themselves from potential legal action, employee contact with clients, and disclosure of company secrets.
Severance Pay Requirements in Florida
While the Fair Labor Standards Act determines what is required for a fair workplace, it does not require severance pay for terminated employees. And at the state level, Florida law does not have any severance pay requirements. If an employer does offer severance pay in exchange for a release of claims, a confidentiality agreement, or some other type of benefit, they must offer something above and beyond what is already owed.
What You Give Up in a Severance Agreement
Employees often sign the first agreement they are offered, often fearing the loss of any type of severance benefits. Severance pay is not a one-sided agreement, however. In exchange, you’ll likely sign a non-compete provision, a non-disparagement provision, a confidentiality agreement, or a release of claims. Each of these agreements offer significant benefits to your employer, and you should be fairly compensated for your role in these provisions. An experienced employment lawyer can tell you exactly what you’ll be surrendering by signing a severance agreement, which can assist you in deciding whether or not to accept it.
Negotiating a Severance Agreement
Negotiation is a key part of securing a fair and reasonable severance package. Agreements vary depending on what role you filled at the company, your length of employment, and your contributions to the business. With the help of an experienced employment lawyer in Florida, you can negotiate an agreement that benefits both you and your previous employer. Your lawyer can evaluate the circumstances of your case, weigh your needs, and position you better during the negotiation process.
Losing your primary source of income can put you in a difficult financial position. A fair severance package can tide you over until you find a new position, as well as compensate you for the hard work you have put into your job. Get help with your severance pay negotiation by calling the Law Office of Keith M. Stern at (305) 901-1379.