Severance Negotiation

Michigan workers depend on wages or salaries to make ends meet. When faced with a sudden layoff, being without a paycheck is more than an inconvenience; it is a crisis. Severance packages granted to employees upon employment termination can bridge the gap while workers are between jobs and ensure their family’s needs do not fall through the cracks. On the other hand, most severance contracts ask to give up your rights to sue; often, they include non-compete or other restrictive terms.

At Blanchard & Walker, we are strong advocates for Michigan employees. After two decades of negotiating and securing severance contracts, we have the skills to maximize the value of severance packages for our clients. You need strong advocates to analyze potential claims before you give them up – and a law firm prepared to litigate if severance doesn’t compensate adequately for wrongful termination.

Do You Need a Severance Package?

Many larger employers maintain a severance plan or contract guaranteeing employees a right to severance. Other employers will consider a severance offer on a discretionary basis – possibly motivated by their concerns to head off a lawsuit. Either way – before you sign, it is in your best interest to have an employment attorney review and analyze the offer and what you may be giving up.

How Much Severance Do You Deserve?

It is common for severance packages to provide one or two weeks’ pay for each year you worked for your employer. However, if you have potential legal claims, fair compensation for your job loss could be much higher. In addition, it is essential not to overlook factors such as unused vacation time, unpaid commissions, or other benefits owed.

The Bottom Line on Severance Negotiations

Your employer will do everything they can to limit the overall financial cost of wrongful termination. It is important to ensure you have an employment lawyer looking out for your interests as you plot the next steps in your career. An appropriate severance is not only about the dollar value but should also consider health care, commissions and bonuses owed, and other fringe benefits.

Accepting a severance package may mean an agreement to future restrictions, like a period of non-competition or non-disparagement terms. Professional advice is essential before anyone signs a legal contract.

Blanchard & Walker has provided executives and professionals advice and representation navigating job transitions for two decades. The ability to negotiate to maximize the value of severance contracts depends on having lawyers ready and willing to litigate when your legal rights aren’t appropriately respected.