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Severance Packages

If you have been offered a separation package, you may have some difficulty fully understanding every aspect of what you are asked to sign. Many severance agreements do not advise you to consult an attorney before you sign a waiver. 

By signing a severance agreement that contains a waiver or release of your claims, you may be giving up valuable rights that could affect your benefits or retirement income for years to come.

If you sign an agreement that contains a waiver or release, you are giving up your right to sue. You may feel compelled to sign because you need the money, but you should consider how long that money will last and where you will be financially in the future. Before you sign, you should seek legal advice. The agreement may unduly restrict your ability to earn a living in the future. More importantly, you may have a claim that is far more valuable than what you employer is offering you.

If you have signed an agreement waiving your rights, the agreement may be flawed and unenforceable. You should seek immediate legal advice, since time limits for taking legal action are relatively short.

At the Upstate Law Group, LLC, we have years of experience in the negotiation of severance agreements for employees at all levels, including executives. We have negotiated nearly every aspect of separation agreements, including salary, bonus payments, stock options, out placement, letters of recommendation, non-compete agreements and other provisions important to our clients.

We have negotiated improved severance agreements in the vast majority of situations, without the need for litigation because of our knowledge of the law governing releases and our ability to evaluate any underlying claims.

We have been able to set aside, or invalidate, releases because they did not meet the requirements of federal law. When necessary, we have successfully litigated cases on behalf of employees who have signed releases and received severance pay without having to return any of the money received prior to filing suit. We have successfully represented clients on the issue of severance agreements in state and federal court, including the U.S. Court of Appeals.

Your severance agreement may well be one of the most important documents you ever sign. Don't sign it without talking to us first. In many cases, your case may be accepted with the attorney's fees contingent on our success at negotiating a more favorable separation agreement.


The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential or time-sensitive information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.