Murrieta Severance Agreements Lawyer

Employers sometimes offer severance agreements when an employee leaves the company, but it is important to know what the law says about them.

Severance agreements, also sometimes called separation agreements or termination agreements, are contracts that outline certain terms when an employment relationship ends. The majority of severance agreements provide the employee with severance pay, or a sum of money, while employees forfeit their right to bring a legal claim against the business or employer. Employers and employees sometimes surrender certain rights, so it is always important to speak to a Murrieta employment lawyer who can prepare and review the contract before signing.

The Purpose of Severance Agreements

California’s Labor Code does not require employers to offer employees a severance agreement when they leave the business. In most cases, severance agreements are intended to protect the employer. An employer may offer an employee a severance agreement as a matter of standard business practice, or to resolve a dispute, such as when they are part of a legal discrimination claim. Additionally, an employer may also offer an employee severance pay to preempt the possibility of a lawsuit against the employer.

The Legality of Severance Agreements

Federal and state law generally allow employers to offer their employees a severance agreement. However, there are some terms within these contracts that may be deemed unenforceable. For example, the court may deem that a non-compete clause is illegal and therefore, not uphold that term while allowing the other terms to stand.

Should You Sign or Offer a Severance Agreement?

A severance agreement is a contract so, each party must enter into it voluntarily. As such, employers cannot force employees to sign a severance agreement. Employers also cannot ask employees to sign a severance agreement that provides compensation that you employees have already earned. This includes any benefits the employee has earned, or any accrued vacation pay. As such, it is important for the parties to execute a valid severance agreement and understand the scope and enforceability of the agreement before signing. 

Our Murrieta Employment Lawyers can Review Your Agreement

Severance agreements are complex legal documents. You should never prepare or sign one without fully understanding the impacts it has. If you have questions about a severance agreement, our Murrieta employment lawyers at Gibbs & Fuerst, LLP can help. Our knowledgeable attorneys will prepare and review the agreement, explain the terms, and answer any questions you have about it. Call us today at (951) 397-0928 to schedule a consultation.