It's Easier to Move On With a Severance Package

A balloon rescuing a paper boat from a waterfall

We'll help you get a package that's fair

If you’re facing a layoff or termination, a severance will help bridge the gap between jobs. But these agreements are written with the employer’s best interests in mind — not yours.

Jackson Spencer attorneys can determine whether your agreement is fair, aggressively negotiate for a more favorable severance or — if you were offered no severance — help you secure a package you’re happy with.

You Need A Plan of Action:

Severance Agreement Review

A word-for-word explanation of the agreement to ensure you understand the terms and implications. We will suggest revisions to the agreement you were given to insure that you (a) receive the best package possible and (b) are not saddled with onerous requirements that could make it\t difficult to get a new job.

Circumstances Review

A review of the circumstances of your employment and termination. We can often find ways for you to potentially obtain more severance or a better package.

Individualized Plan

An individualized plan reflecting your particular circumstances, leverage, and negotiation needs – including advice on how to potentially obtain more money.

Employer Negotiation

We will negotiate directly with your employer to enhance the severance package.

A severance package contains the pay and benefits you are offered upon separation from the company. It may include compensation for unused vacation/sick leave, bonuses, or years of service. It may also address the continuation of insurance coverage, stock options, disability benefits, and outplacement services to help you find a new job.

In exchange for receiving a severance package, most employers require you to sign a “severance agreement,” which often includes a release of any claims you may have against the company, a non-compete clause, and terms prohibiting you from saying something negative about your employer.

Understanding the Terms of a Severance Package

  1. Take your time before your sign. Review the package in detail, analyze the offer, and negotiate or retain a lawyer to assist you. If you are over 40, employers are required to allow you a minimum of 21 days to consider the offer. You need to fully understand the agreement, weigh your options, and decide whether to negotiate for better terms.
  2. Gather information. Locate relevant documentation (your original offer letter; employee handbook;, information on the company severance plan; emails concerning issues that may be grounds to claim wrongful termination or unfair treatment; documentation of your health and disability insurance, retiree medical benefits, vacation time, compensation, and stock options; non-compete, intellectual property inventions, non-disclosure, and mandatory arbitration agreements). This will help determine exactly what has been offered to you, what has been left out, and whether you can improve your severance through negotiation.
  3. Consider leverage. If you were terminated because you belong to a protected class, due to an illness or disability, as a matter of retaliation, or in violation of a written or implied contract, you may have grounds to claim wrongful termination or to negotiate a better severance package. If you sign a severance agreement without negotiation, you likely will be giving away these rights forever.
  4. Decide whether to negotiate. Most of the time, severance agreements are negotiable, but in some situations, an employer may be able to revoke an offer of severance if you reject the offer. You will never know whether your employer will negotiate unless you ask.
  5. Decide what to negotiate. The most common terms to negotiate include total compensation (cash, bonuses, stock options, unused vacation time, etc.), insurance coverage, disability benefits, letters of recommendation or a favorable statement regarding your “voluntary separation,” outplacement assistance, your ability to exercise stock options, and terms of or release from any non-compete.
  6. Consider hiring a lawyer. Often an experienced lawyer can help you understand the strengths and weaknesses of your situation. Further, a lawyer may be able to negotiate a better deal for you as many employers are more willing to negotiate once you get a lawyer involved.

Useful Links:

Our Attorneys

Fighting for Employees in Texas

Experienced. Knowledgable. Caring.

The attorneys at Jackson Spencer Law are here for you.  We know the law — and we know the rights and protections that workers have. Whether it’s negotiating a severance package or a settlement with an employer, navigating the complexities of a whistleblower case or taking a discrimination lawsuit to court — we’re the legal team you need in Texas.

Attorney Jennifer Spencer on phone

Jennifer Spencer

Attorney

An experienced trial lawyer and known for an aggressive, organized, and highly effective litigation style. A champion for the rights of those who have been wrongfully terminated, discriminated against, sexually harassed, terminated after whistleblowing, passed over for promotions or otherwise wrongfully treated in the workplace.

    Attorney Neal Bridges at his computer

    Neal Bridges

    Attorney

    Counsels and represents client with employment and severance issues, including reviewing and advising clients on the terms of a severance agreement, negotiating on an employee’s behalf to increase the amount of a severance package, to representing clients in litigation over wrongful termination, workplace discrimination or retaliation, and more.

    James Hunnicut

    James Hunnicut

    Attorney

    Counsels and represents clients in a variety of business, employment, and complex commercial litigation matters in state and federal courts.

    Contact Us to Have Your Case Reviewed

    Practice Areas

    Jackson Spencer Law

    The attorneys at Dallas-based Jackson Law have in-depth experience in representing employees who are in disputes with their employers. How can we help you?

    Man and woman facing staircases with unequal levels of difficulty

    Discrimination

    Discrimination is a big problem, and it’s not going away. If you can claim a protected status, you may have a case. Read more

    Jackson Spencer Law

    Wrongful Termination

    If you were recently fired and are questioning the legality of your termination, we need to talk. Read more

    Wrecking ball hitting a brick wall

    Retaliation Claims

    Your employer can’t punish you for engaging in a legally protected activity. Know your rights. Read more

    Illustration of female surrounded by shadowy male hands

    Sexual Harassment Claims

    A glance at today’s headlines tells you harassment is a huge issue. Let’s talk about what you’re experiencing. Read more

    Woman confronting shadowy image of a large whistle, symbolizing whistleblowers

    Whistleblower Cases

    What can you do if you learn of illegal activity at work? Plenty. Learn about your rights — and possible rewards. Read more

    Jackson Spencer Law

    Overtime and Back Pay

    Not all employees are eligible for overtime — but many are. We’ll help determine what you’re owed. Read more

    Pen nib popping balloon

    Contracts and Employee Handbooks

    Are you an employer? Handbooks and codes of conduct aren’t required, but they’re always a good idea. Let’s make sure you’re covered. Read more