Montgomery County Severance Agreements Lawyer
Many employers offer severance packages to employees they terminate or lay off. These packages usually require an employee to sign a legal agreement in which they give up certain rights in exchange for severance pay and/or other benefits.
Although many employees do sign such an agreement in order to get compensation or health benefits while looking for another job, you might do well to get legal advice from a skilled employment attorney regarding your rights. If your employer has given you a severance agreement to sign, an experienced Montgomery County severance agreements lawyer from the Spiggle Law Firm could review its terms, advise you about your rights, and present actions that you could take to ensure those rights are upheld.
Employment Rights in Montgomery County
Most severance agreements require that employees waive their right to sue the employer for anything relating to their employment. These waivers generally include giving up any rights under federal, state, and local employment discrimination laws.
Several federal laws prohibit discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, pregnancy, age, genetic information, or disability. In addition to the federally protected classes, the Maryland Fair Employment Practices Act and Montgomery County Code §27-19(a) prohibit employers in Montgomery County from using sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, ancestry, or family responsibilities as grounds for employment or other adverse treatment in the workplace.
Before entering into a severance agreement, you need to understand that you may be forfeiting the right to remedy any illegal discrimination or other wrongs suffered at work. An experienced severance agreements lawyer in Montgomery County could advise you about these and other claims you should consider before agreeing to a severance package and waiving these rights.
Because a severance agreement can also affect unemployment benefits, you should not enter into a severance agreement without careful consideration. Employees who leave work voluntarily without good cause are not eligible for unemployment compensation. For this reason, an employee who signs an agreement that characterizes their separation as voluntary may also be giving up the right to unemployment compensation.
Additional Protections Under the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act
Under the federal Older Worker Benefit Protection Act, any agreement that includes a release of age discrimination claims must comply with certain requirements. Among these is a requirement that you be given at least 21 days to consider the offered agreement. Further, the employee can revoke their agreement within seven days of signing it.
Possible Actions to Take When Given a Severance Agreement
In addition to potentially giving up the legal rights mentioned above, severance agreements can often be unfavorable in a number of other ways. In many instances, you should refrain from signing the agreement as presented and consider getting legal advice.
First and foremost, a skilled Montgomery County attorney’s review of a severance agreement may reveal elements that can easily be improved in an agreement. Some of these could be changes to the date of separation, how a separation is characterized, or when or how severance is paid.
Furthermore, there may be many ways that a better deal can be negotiated and a bad or unfair severance package improved. Finally, if you believe you were terminated because of discrimination, retaliation, or other illegal reasons, you may consider pursuing legal action rather than accepting a severance agreement and losing the right to sue. Dedicated Montgomery County severance agreements lawyers can investigate potential claims and advise you about strengths and weakness of their case.
Contacting a Montgomery County Severance Agreements Attorney
Severance agreements are often one-sided and written to protect the interests of the employer much more than the employee. In some situations, you may simply need coaching about how to handle severance on your own. Other circumstances may call for formal negotiations to get a more beneficial separation package.
In situations where discrimination or retaliation may be present, a Montgomery County severance agreements lawyer could provide advice about possible claims and whether they are worth pursuing. Regardless of how simple or complex your circumstances are, getting personal guidance from a qualified legal professional can be important to obtaining a fair resolution. To have your case examined by the Spiggle Law Firm legal team, click here to receive an online review free of charge.