Severance Negotiations + Disputes

The law does not require California employers to offer severance pay or benefits to terminated or laid-off employees unless there is a contract or collective bargaining agreement that provides otherwise. This is true regardless of how long an employee has worked for the company, how strong his performance was, or the reason for the lay-off.

Nevertheless, some employers do offer employees severance packages upon termination or lay-off. Employees should be aware, however, that employers generally require employees to release all legal claims they may have against the employer in exchange for the severance package. This would include claims for wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and whistleblowing. Thus, if you believe your employer may have terminated you for an illegal reason, you should consult an employment attorney before signing any severance agreement.

If your employment is ending and you want help negotiating a severance package, we can help. If you are considering whether to accept a severance package offered, we can help you evaluate whether you may have a potential lawsuit against your former employer, and help you decide whether to accept the package, negotiate a better deal, or reject it and pursue a lawsuit instead. Give us a call at (415) 788-0888, email us at info@sarnofflaw.com, or complete our online contact form to find out whether your rights have been violated and if we can help.

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