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Representing professionals in negotiating severance agreements

A previous post on this blog talked about how, in the professional world, severance agreements are becoming more and more common when a professional employee, like a doctor, business executive, accountant or other professional, leaves his or her place of employment.

As that post stated, an employee in the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, area who signs a severance agreement may be giving up important rights, including the right to pursue certain legal claims against his or her employer, in exchange for compensation to which he or she might not otherwise be entitled.

Given the importance of this type of agreement, an employee who is asked to sign one may want to review its terms with an attorney and, if necessary, negotiate a better deal. Our office can guide a professional through her severance agreement to make sure she understands exactly what she is signing an how signing will affect her.

We can also point out areas in which the agreement might not be precisely to the person's liking and offer alternatives that can serve as a fruitful ground for negotiation with one's employer. In this respect, an employee should remember that a severance agreement is mutually beneficial both to him and his employer, so he should not be afraid to ask for what he deserves in exchange for waiving important rights.

It also bears mentioning that, in many cases, a severance agreement will include a non-compete clause in which an employer will agree not to go to work for one of her employer's competitors. Since this may limit the employee's future opportunities, our office will give these clauses careful scrutiny in our review and will make sure they are consistent with Pennsylvania law.

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