What to Consider When Negotiating a Severance Package

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If you have received a severance package from your employer, it is important to understand what rights you may be waiving before you sign the severance agreement. To learn more about severance agreements, continue reading and reach out to our experienced Midlothian employment law attorney.

What is a severance package?

A severance agreement is a legal contract between an employer and an employee. This contract outlines the terms of an employment departure. These agreements are typically offered in resignations, layoffs, retirement, or terminations.

Severance agreements generally involve giving an employee compensation after terminating their employment or in preparation for termination their employment. This compensation is used so that the employee can have a financial cushion while they look for new work.

For a severance agreement to be valid, it must provide something of value to the employee such as a certain financial sum in exchange for a waiver of rights. The waiver of claims is often referred to as a general release.

Employees are generally provided with time to consider the severance agreement before they sign. Employees over 40 years old are provided with a 21 day consideration period under The Older Workers Benefit Protection Act. It is important that you do not rush signing a severance agreement. These terms are may be negotiable.

What should I consider when negotiating a severance package?

There are several issues that are important to consider when signing a severance agreement including the following:

  • The consequences of violating the agreement
  • The financial terms or severance payments
  • The timing of severance payments
  • Confidentiality terms
  • Which claims are waived
  • Tax consequences
  • Reference letters
  • Re-hiring opportunities
  • What will happen to employment benefits
  • Unemployment compensation

When negotiating a severance agreement, you may require the assistance of an experienced attorney. To learn the details of your severance agreement and what rights you may be waiving, it is best to consult with an attorney.

If you require help with a severance agreement, do not hesitate to contact our experienced employment law firm today. We are prepared to fight for your rights as an employee in Virginia.


At Passero Employment Law, we understand it is difficult to confront problems in the workplace or face litigation. With that in mind, we take a solutions-oriented approach to our representation – focusing on the right process and the right solution for each of our clients. 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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