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Overview of severance agreements

No salaried employee in the greater Harrisburg area or, for that matter, in any other part of Pennsylvania ever wants to be called in to their office's human resources department to discuss impending "cuts" or, more specifically, the involuntary termination of their employment. Unfortunately, though, in the modern economy, losing one's job is more and more a reality that most workers will deal with at least once.

Getting the news one is being terminated will inevitably cause various thoughts emotions to run through the employee's or executive's head, such as what they are going to do to find another job and how they are going to support themselves and their families in the interim. As such, whether or not to sign the severance agreement their employer offers them may be the last question on their minds.

Still, as severance agreements have become more prevalent in the professional world, employees do need to review these agreements and make sure they understand their rights. They also should make sure that all of the proper terms are covered.

For instance, an employee is going to want to be certain that the agreement is crystal clear about how much money the employee will be paid in severance and under what terms. Other items, like how long health benefits and other amenities will continue, also need to be set out. An employee should make sure all such terms are clear and accurate.

Doing so is important for several reasons. For example, an employer will often want the employee to waive several legal rights in exchange for a severance agreement. The employee may also give up unemployment compensation and could be agreeing to various confidentiality and non-compete clauses that could limit the employee's ability to find another job.

It is often advisable for a Pennsylvania professional to have his or her severance package reviewed by an experienced attorney before signing off on it.

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