LEGAL GUIDE
Written by attorney Jacob Iraj Kiani | Sep 23, 2013

Why You Need an Actual Lawyer to Negotiate Your Severance Offer

Why Your Future Livelihood May Depend on Hiring an Actual Lawyer to Negotiate Your Severance Offer

Posted by Jacob I. Kiani | Sep 23, 2013 | 0 Comments

Hire the Severance Package Negotiations Attorneys at the Law Office of Jacob I. Kiani to Negotiate Your Severance Package and Review Your Separation Agreement in Los Angeles, California

Some pseudo-lawyers and other internet gurus out there claiming to be experts in severance negotiation law, but who are not licensed attorneys, may tell you that there is no need to hire a lawyer for severance matters.

They claim in some instances that getting a lawyer involved will actually be a detriment to your cause and your goal of obtaining a higher severance amount and a fair severance agreement or severance package.

Do not believe these so-called experts. Any severance deal you will even be offered or have the occasion to consider will involve a legally binding agreement or contract, called a Severance Agreement or Separation Agreement, and it will involve LEGAL terminology and contract language. You owe it to yourself to have any actual attorney review the Severance Agreement, which will inevitably contain various kinds of releases, waivers, covenants not to sue, and other highly technical terminology. You don't want to trust this job to an H.R. person. It is a bit more serious than that.Let's put it this way. If you were facing serious criminal charges in court and could face life in prison, would you want to hire a police officer to defend you in court, or an actual licensed criminal defense attorney. It's really a simple decision.

Here are some additional reasons why you should hire an attorney to negotiate your severance offer and agreement:

1. The Severance Payment:

An employee might already be entitled to unpaid wages, unpaid overtime, unpaid and accrued vacation, reimbursement of expenses, etc. If the employer already owes those back wages to the employee, a skilled labor and employment lawyer will be able to back up the demand to the employer that it pay these amounts with actual legal authority. A non-lawyer might not even recognize that the employee is owed this pay separate and apart from any severance payment. Experienced severance law attorneys and seasoned negotiators will also usually have knowledge of the typical amounts in severance that an employee in this position in this or a similar industry usually receives. In other words, having worked with other clients in similar matters, and having a general understanding of the labor market as part of his or her job as a severance package negotiations lawyer, an attorney can give you a sense of whether what the employer is offering in severance at any give time is a good deal or not. A skilled, experience severance negotiation attorney will ensure that the employer agrees to pay the employee any unpaid and due and owing wages or unreimbursed expenses as a precondition to any settlement deal.

2. Employee Benefits:

A severance agreement should include various technical contractual provisions regarding what benefits the employee will receive upon separating from the employer. For example, the separation agreement should address the issue of the employee's health care plan if sponsored or subsidized by the employer and should set forth on what terms the employee will be entitled to health care continuation coverage, or COBRA coverage.

3. Complete Waiver and Release of Claims:

This is a serious matter and only an attorney can protect your rights. The reason signing a severance agreement is a big deal, not to be taken lightly, is that you are VOLUNTARILY giving up certain of your legal rights in a signed, most likely binding and enforceable legal contract. By signing the agreement, you are effecting a General Waiver in which you are GIVING UP IMPORTANT LEGAL RIGHTS.

I don't know about you, but I would want an attorney to review something like that even if I were completely happy with my severance package and the amount of severance pay offered.

4. Hire the Kiani Law Severance Negotiation Law Attorneys . . . Your Career May Literally Depend on Protecting Yourself with Competent Employment Law Counsel during the Review of Your Separation Agreement in Los Angeles, CA.

But what if, hypothetically, the money all looks good, and say for example, you are a highly valuable, knowledgeable tech entrepreneur, engineer, or involved in some other technical position in which you have a deep understanding of one particular area of say, business-to-business cloud computing. What if the employer inserts into the agreement a provision, that unbeknownst to you, contains a highly questionable provision that states you agree you will not be employed in this area of b2b cloud tech anywhere within a 50 mile radius of the only area of your state in which there are jobs in this particular field. You are essentially hiring and paying the attorney to protect your livelihood and ability to make a living in the future.

Sound like it might be a good idea to have your severance negotiated and your severance agreement reviewed by an actual employment lawyer, rather than an "H.R. Internet Guru," who charges less? . . . I thought you might say that.

Los Angeles Employment Litigation and Business Law Attorney

The Law Office of Jacob I. Kiani is a Labor and Employment law firm located in Los Angeles, California. Los Angeles Labor Lawyer Jacob I. Kiani assists clients throughout Los Angeles, Hollywood, West Hollywood, Downtown Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, West Los Angeles, Orange County, Century City, and the San Fernando Valley with legal matters related to Labor & Employment Law, Business Law & Litigation, Human Resources Law, Severance Negotiation Law, Wage and Hour Law, and Unbundled Legal Services including Contract Drafting Services.

Los Angeles Labor Law Practice Areas

Severance Negotiations Law

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About the Author

Jacob I. Kiani

Jacob I. Kiani is an experienced and highly-skilled Los Angeles Labor & Employment Attorney. The Law Office of Jacob I. Kiani is a Labor & Employment Law Firm located in Los Angeles, California. The firm assists clients throughout Los Angeles, Hollywood, West Hollywood, Downtown Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, West Los Angeles, Orange County, and the San Fernando Valley with legal matters related to Labor & Employment Law, Wage and Hour Law, Unpaid Wages Law, Overtime Law, Meal Period and Rest Break Law, Business Law & Litigation, Technology Law, Human Resources Law, Severance Negotiations Law, and Unbundled Legal Services.

Additional resources provided by the author

Los Angeles Employment Litigation and Business Law Attorney The Law Office of Jacob I. Kiani is a Labor and Employment law firm located in Los Angeles, California. Los Angeles Labor Lawyer Jacob I. Kiani assists clients throughout Los Angeles, Hollywood, West Hollywood, Downtown Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, West Los Angeles, Orange County, Century City, and the San Fernando Valley with legal matters related to Labor & Employment Law, Business Law & Litigation, Human Resources Law, Severance Negotiation Law, Wage and Hour Law, and Unbundled Legal Services including Contract Drafting Services. LOS ANGELES LABOR LAW PRACTICE AREAS Labor & Employment Law Wage and Hour Law Human Resources Law Business Law & Litigation Technology Law Unbundled Legal Services SEVERANCE NEGOTIATIONS LAW Top Five Items to Negotiate During Severance Negotiations Besides Severance Pay Five Tips for Negotiating The Best Severance Possible Don't Attempt to Represent Yourself in Severance Negotiations Ten Tips for Negotiating a Better Severance Package Severance Pay Basic Info Sheet How to Negotiate Severance Cobra Basic Info Sheet How to Get the Best Severance Deal You're Fired: Now You Can Negotiate a Better Severance Package About the Author Jacob I. Kiani Jacob I. Kiani is an experienced and highly-skilled Los Angeles Labor & Employment Attorney. The Law Office of Jacob I. Kiani is a Labor & Employment Law Firm located in Los Angeles, California. The firm assists clients throughout Los Angeles, Hollywood, West Hollywood, Downtown Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, West Los Angeles, Orange County, and the San Fernando Valley with legal matters related to Labor & Employment Law, Wage and Hour Law, Unpaid Wages Law, Overtime Law, Meal Period and Rest Break Law, Business Law & Litigation, Technology Law, Human Resources Law, Severance Negotiations Law, and Unbundled Legal Services.

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