Severance Package Negotiation
This guide will provide information on how to negotiate a severance package if you have been terminated or asked to resign in the state of Texas.
Offer of Severance BenefitsIf you have been offered a severance package or severance benefits in Texas, call us immediately. Generally, because Texas is an employment at-will state (meaning that employers and employees can terminate the employment relationship for a good reason, bad reason, or no reason, so long as the reason is not an "illegal" reason. If you are offered a severance package it usually means that your employer feels exposed to a lawsuit for terminating you for an illegal reason, you have been subject to harassment or discrimination, or that they have violated their contract of employment with you.
Tips for Employees Offered a Severance PackageDo not sign anything right away. After breaking the bad news, the HR rep will try make you sign a release within two hours. Don't. If you're being cut as a part of a general layoff, you have at least three weeks to sign your severance package agreement, which is really an agreement to not sue the company. If you did sign it -- and if you're older than 40 --you can revoke your signature within a week.
No severance package is take it or leave it. Negotiate. Your employer expects you to. The most important thing to them is that you do not sue and go away without controversy.
Find out how many others are being cut from your particular office. If it's 50 or more, the WARN act requires your employer give you 60 days notice (or at least 60 days pay).
Make sure they offer continued health benefits. Federal law requires 18 months of continued coverage via COBRA. Sometimes you can make them pay for some of it.
Make sure you're getting the bonus you earned last year.
In fact, make sure you're getting paid for all your accrued benefits, such as sick days or vacation time.
Make sure your severance package is commensurate with your tenure. You should get more than the people who worked for you and peers who have been at the company for less time.