Were you recently offered a severance? If so, it is highly recommended that you speak with an Ohio severance agreement attorney at Bryant Legal, LLC so that your severance agreement can be reviewed thoroughly for a variety of reasons.
Unless you have a contract stating otherwise, your employer is not legally obligated to offer you a severance. However, employers still offer them for a variety of reasons. Specifically, it may simply want to manage risk with respect to the actions of its former employees. It will manage its risk through various provisions that legally bind the former employee.
On the other hand, you may have actually been unlawfully terminated and your employer offers severance in an attempt to have you quickly accept the amount initial offered given the fact that you are no longer employed and need the money to pay bills, etc.
With respect to the variety of provisions that legally bind the employee, severance agreements include a general release of claims, which means that in exchange for a severance payment, you waive your rights to all legal claims, known or unknown. You may not know what claims you may have because the offer of a severance payment seems attractive. However, depending on the actual reasons for your termination, you may be entitled to a higher severance payment. As such, you should have an Ohio severance agreement attorney review everything prior to signing the release agreement.
Furthermore, there will likely be other provisions that you do not encounter on a daily basis, including confidentiality, non-compete, and non-disparagement clauses, all of which are not readily familiar to most employees because the provisions appear like legal jargon. To that end, one important provision is a neutral reference provision, which means that prospective employers will be provided with your job title and dates of employment, rather than having the risk of your previous employer give a negative reference.
Furthermore, there are time limitations to accept and/or negotiate the severance offer. In the event you are 40 years of age or older, the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act (OWBPA) requires that employees be provided at least 21 days to review the severance offer. Additionally, the OWBPA requires there to be a 7-day revocation period (i.e. I no longer agree to these terms that I signed, so I want to revoke). However, if you are under the age of 40, the employer can make the time limitations as short as it desires, which is why you need to contact an Ohio severance agreement attorney the day that you receive the severance.
What can an Ohio Severance Agreement attorney do for you?