What Is a Severance Package Used for in Virginia?

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Through their course of employment at different jobs, employees will likely come across a severance agreement. It is important to look at these agreements carefully, and reach out to an attorney if you have questions or believe the agreement is unjust. Our skilled Chesterfield County employment agreement attorney can help. Give us a call today to get started. Here are some questions you may have about severance packages in Virginia:

How does a severance package work in Virginia?

In Virginia, a severance agreement is a legal contract between an employer and an employee that is used to specify the terms of the employee’s separation from employment. These agreements are generally proposed in resignations, layoffs, retirement, or terminations.

Severance agreements typically provide an employee compensation after ending their employment or in preparation for the ending of their employment. The employer generally provides payment to the employee so that the employee can have a monetary buffer while looking for new employment. 

In order for a severance agreement to be reasonable, the agreement must supply a benefit to the employee (understood as consideration) such as a detailed financial sum in exchange for a waiver of rights. The waiver of claims is typically a general release of any and all claims against the employer and is standard in most severance agreements.

Most of the time, employees are provided with time to review the severance agreement before they sign it. Employees 40 or over must be offered a 21-day consideration period under the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act and in some instances 45-days if multiple employees are terminated at the same time. 

What is the best way to negotiate a severance agreement in Virginia? 

There are a number of factors you will want to keep in mind when signing a severance agreement. You should look at the following:

  • The consequences of violating the agreement
  • Which claims are waived
  • The financial terms or severance payments
  • The timing of severance payments
  • Confidentiality terms
  • Re-hiring opportunities
  • Tax consequences
  • Reference letters
  • Any claims you may have against the company will be waived

If you are negotiating a severance agreement, you will likely profit from having a skilled attorney on your side. With the help of an attorney, you can better comprehend the facts of the agreement and what rights you may be waiving. If you would like help with your severance agreement, our firm can help. We are prepared to help you.


If you need help with an employment law matter in the state of Virginia, you can count on Passero Employment Law to effectively represent your interests. If you would like to discuss your matter, please contact Passero Employment Law today.

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