New Jersey Severance Agreement Lawyer
When New Jersey employers fire or lay off workers, they may offer a severance agreement to the departing employee. A severance agreement can provide the worker with some measure of financial security as they look for a new job. But severance agreements can also impose a number of restrictions on an employee long after their employment has ended.
Businesses usually work with skilled attorneys in drafting their severance agreements. As a worker, it is therefore important that you level the playing field by working with your own New Jersey severance agreement negotiation lawyer. At Poulos LoPiccolo PC, we can work with you to ensure that any severance agreement is fair and equitable towards your interests and is not simply a shield for the employer.
How a Severance Agreement Can Restrict Your Legal Rights
There are some situations where federal or New Jersey state law requires an employer to provide some form of severance pay. For example, since 2020 New Jersey has required businesses with 100 or more employees to provide a specified amount of severance pay when closing a plant or terminating at least 50 employees at a single work site. In other cases, the employer itself may have certain policies regarding severance pay.
A severance agreement is a binding contract between the employer and employee. In exchange for receiving severance pay, the employee agrees to follow a number of terms and conditions post-employment. Some common conditions found in New Jersey severance agreements include:
- Protection of Proprietary Information. The employee agrees not to disclose any trade secrets or any other confidential information that they learned about the employer during the course of their employment.
- Non-Compete and Non-Solicitation. The employee agrees not to seek employment from a direct competitor of the employer–or solicit the employer’s clients–for a specified amount of time.
- *Release of Claims. The employee agrees not to sue the employer for employment discrimination and/or wrongful termination.
- Non-Disparagement. The employee agrees not to speak out publicly in a negative or disparaging way about the employer.
By signing a severance agreement with any or all of these provisions, you can easily sign away important legal rights without fully realizing it. Once signed, a severance agreement is a legally binding contract. And even if some provisions of the agreement are later held unenforceable by a court, the remainder of the deal may still remain in force. At the same time, a severance agreement also imposes certain obligations on the employer, and as the employee you also have the right to file a suit for breach of contract.
New Jersey Severance Agreement Lawyers Serving Ocean, Monmouth & Middlesex County
Many people are quick to sign a severance agreement without stopping to think through the potential consequences. This is always a mistake. If your employer has presented you with a draft severance agreement, you should not feel pressured to sign right away. Instead, take the time to consult with an experienced New Jersey severance agreement lawyer who will represent your best interests. Contact Poulos LoPiccolo PC today to schedule an initial consultation.