San Francisco Severance Agreement Lawyer

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Entering into an employment agreement is a big decision, and you should know what your rights and remedies are beforehand.  Supreeta Sampath of The Sampath Law Firm in San Francisco is experienced at reviewing employment agreements and can explain the law to you before you decide to sign an employment agreement.  

Surpeeta Sampath, principal attorney at SLF can also help you execute a winning exit strategy from your company.  If you are about to be laid off or terminated, we have successfully negotiated countless severance agreements and work with employers to find solutions to disputes over your healthcare coverage, back pay, bonuses, and other benefits.  With an optimal severance agreement, you will have the time and resources you need to plan for the future, including your next job! Contact us today for an initial consultation.

Keep reading to get answers to common employment and severance agreement FAQs.

Severance Agreement FAQs

Q: Does an employer have to provide severance?

A: In the private sector, there is no obligation for employers to provide severance pay when you are terminated or when you leave the company. Some companies may have policies that offer severance under specific conditions. Additionally, certain employment agreements, particularly for executive positions, may include a clause granting severance rights in scenarios like termination without "cause" or resignation for "good reason.” Without a specific policy or agreement, California-based employees generally have no inherent right to severance at termination.

Q: Why would an employer offer severance if not legally required?

A: Employers often choose to offer severance for several reasons, such as acknowledging an employee's hard work and/or facilitating the transition to the employee's next job. That said, employers are often motivated by protections received in return, such as confidentiality agreements and releases of claims, which help prevent disputes and litigation.  If you have legal rights at stake, it is important to speak to an employment attorney before signing a severance agreement and waiving your legal rights.

Q: Is there a standard amount of severance based on years of service?

A: While employers are not legally tied to providing a certain amount of severance, employers often provide one or two weeks of pay per year of service, or a lump sum payment represented as a percentage of or a number of months of an employee's salary. The exact formula is up to the employer and can vary widely (providing the variation is not unlawfully discriminatory).

Q: Can severance include non-monetary benefits?

A: Severance isn't just limited to monetary compensation – employers may also include benefits such as COBRA payments, bonuses and equity vesting acceleration. It all depends on the employer's offer and the negotiation process.

Q: Do I have to sign a severance agreement to receive severance?

A: Many employers only offer severance on the employee's agreement to certain terms, typically including a release of claims to safeguard the employer against future litigation. When in doubt, we recommend contacting an employment attorney to thoroughly review your severance agreement.

Employment Agreement FAQs

Q: What is an employment agreement?

A: An employment agreement is a contract between an employer and an employee that outlines the terms of employment. This includes job responsibilities, salary, benefits, confidentiality obligations, and sometimes conditions for termination.  The majority of private sector employees in California are at-will employees.  This means you can leave your company and the company can fire you for any reason (as long as it is not an unlawful reason).

Q: Should I have a lawyer review my employment agreement before signing?

A: It's always smart to have an employment lawyer review your employment agreement before signing. At SLF we  help analyze details, identify potential red flags, and suggest negotiations to better protect your interests and know your rights.

Q: What happens if my employer breaches our agreement?

A: If your employer breaches your employment agreement, you may have legal grounds to pursue a claim. Make sure to document any such breaches if and when they arise.

Contact an Experienced Employment and Severance Agreement Lawyer in San Francisco

The skilled negotiation team at The Sampath Law Firm can make sure the agreements you sign are fair and reasonable and work in your best interest. If you are interested in securing a severance package or reviewing your employment contract, contact our office to speak with an attorney who can advise you about the negotiation process.

The Sampath Law Firm Is Here for You

At The Sampath Law Firm, we focus on employment law and we are here to listen to you and help you navigate the legal system.

Contact Us Today

The Sampath Law Firm is committed to answering your questions about employment-related law issues and other workplace injustices in California.

We'll gladly discuss your case with you at your convenience. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.