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Make the most of your severance package

There are a number of scenarios where you might find yourself offered a severance package in the course of employment. It is important to acknowledge that being offered a severance package is almost always better than not being offered one at all, but that does not mean that you shouldn't scrutinize the offer and consult with experienced legal counsel before you accept it.

When most people think of a severance package, they primarily envision a lump sum payment that relates to their salary over a period of time, such as six months. Obviously, the monetary component of any severance package is a crucial element, but it is not everything. You should also consider what other components might make an ideal severance package. Beyond monetary compensation, you should consider insurance that you receive through your employer and how you may continue to receive your insurance after termination.

When approached civilly and confidently, you may be surprised what can be negotiated. You should consider how to transition to another opportunity and how your current employer can facilitate that transition. This might include references or letter of recommendation, or other career transition help. You may want to have your employer specify that they will not contest your unemployment benefits if you file for unemployment. You may even be able to negotiate keeping certain equipment that you used in the course of your work, like a phone or a laptop.

Whatever your situation, it is useful to have qualified counsel who understands the nuances of severance packages in your industry. With strong legal guidance, you can make the most of your exit and set yourself up to succeed in a new season of life.

Source: The Zoldan Law Group PLLC, "Employment Agreements," accessed Feb. 08, 2017

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