MM. Severance Negotiating
"Turn a setback into a comeback."
Billy Brewer, College Football Coach
The Six Sources
of Leverage When
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Requesting Additional Severance
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i. Before Negotiating
- QA 1: “Can I be denied severance, or unemployment benefits, if I don’t accept a position offered to me by the company that just laid me off?”
- QA 2: Can an employee ever ASK for a severance package?
- QA 3: “Can my employer require me to sign a document acknowledging that I was terminated for poor performance as a condition to my receiving severance?”
- QA 4: “My company is being sold. Should I stay on and work for the purchasing company, or take my severance and go?”
- QA 5: “Can I trust things my present employer is saying in meetings about severance and the intentions of the company’s new owners?”
- QA 6: “While on ‘termination notice,’ if I leave my company for a new job, before my last scheduled day of employment, will I still get severance?”
- QA 7: “Can I be forced to sign a ‘voluntary’ resignation form to get my severance?”
- QA 8: “Can I really negotiate for better severance?”
- QA 9: “If I receive severance payments over time, will that count toward the time I need to vest in the company retirement plan?”
- QA 10: “What constitutes a ‘hostile work environment’?”
- QA 11: “Offered pittance of a severance. What is my next step?”
- QA 12: “What’s better – asking for more severance without an attorney, or with one?”
- QA 13: “If my boss tells me to find a new job, and I find one, do I lose my severance?”
- QA 14: “Can I say ‘Skip the PIP’ and go straight to severance?”
ii. Negotiating - The Process
- NL 1: Negotiating Severance: Your 6 Sources of Leverage
- NL 2: Severance Offers: When It Pays to Say “No Thank You”
- QA 1: Refusing to Resign: Can HR Change Severance Offer?
- QA 2: Severance Deadline Nears – What Do I Do Now?
- QA 3: “Any tips on how to negotiate severance?”
- QA 4: Not paid what I was promised. Should I raise that issue in severance negotiations?
- QA 5: “If it hasn’t yet been accepted, can a severance offer be changed, or withdrawn?”
- QA 6: “In negotiating my severance, can I use as leverage the fact that I know how much different employees are paid?”
- QA 7: “Should I ask for more time to negotiate severance?”
- QA 8: “How long is an offer of severance good for?”
- QA 9: “Can I request severance or a cash settlement to keep quiet about an illegal practice by my employer?”
- QA 10: “If I negotiate, will my severance be taken off the table?”
iii. Negotiating - The Terms
- QA 1: Possible Bonus Payment Not Written in Severance Agreement – What Should I Do?
- QA 2: How Much Severance is Fair?
- QA 3: Isn’t “mitigation” of severance unfair?
- QA 4: “Can we ask for a previously-offered severance package that was better than this one?”
- QA 5: “Offered so-called ‘voluntary’ separation, with enhanced severance. Should I accept it?”
- QA 6: “How much should my husband ask to be ‘retained’ by his company for six months longer than he would like to stay on?”
- QA 7: “If my severance is reduced by monies I make working elsewhere, can I simply ask that payments I earn be delayed?”
- QA 8: “Can severance consist just of retirement monies?”
- QA 9: “Offered severance at the end of a Performance Improvement Plan; can I ask for more?”
- QA 10: “How do I write a letter asking for more severance based on ‘humanitarian’ reasons?”
- QA 11: “If laid off near year-end, am I entitled to partial bonus?”
- QA 12: “When laid off, can I get my unvested options vested?”
iv. After Negotiating
- NL 1: Severance Payments: Can I Lose Them If My Employer Goes Bankrupt?
- QA 1: “I accepted a severance package four weeks after the deadline. Can my former employer refuse to pay?”
- QA 2: “While I am on severance, can I be required to work, without extra pay?”
- QA 3: “If I signed a severance (or separation) agreement, can I still sue my employer for unlawful termination?”
- QA 4: “In Ohio, will my receiving severance reduce or limit my collecting unemployment benefits?”
- QA 5: “Can severance be negotiated? Anything I can do if I’ve already accepted the severance?”
- QA 6: “After I have signed a severance agreement, without help from an attorney, can I still file a discrimination complaint with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)?”
- QA 7: “If I take a new job elsewhere before my job is lost, will I lose my severance?”
- QA 8: “Do I have any chance of collecting severance if my employer goes bankrupt after I’ve been laid off?”
- QA 9: “If after I signed a severance agreement, I found out new info, could I still bring a case of wrongful termination?”
- QA 10: “After severance, can I sue my employer for workplace stress?”
- QA 11: Must employers provide a reason for terminating an employee?
- QA 12: “If only the employee signs the severance agreement, is the employer bound by it?”
- NL 1: Yahoo! Uses Severance Packages Strategically to Thwart Microsoft Takeover – Lessons You Can Draw
- NL 2: “Survivor Demotion” – When a Lower Level Job Is Preferable to Layoff
- QA 1: “My company avoids both severance and pensions by something called ‘re-badging’ employees. Is this legal?”
- QA 2: “What is an ‘Administrative Claim’ for severance?”
- QA 3: “If an employee has a Master’s Degree paid for by an employer, based on the employee’s promise to stay three years, or repay the $30,000, what happens if the employee is laid off?”
- QA 4: “If I sign a Performance Improvement Plan, if I am let go, might I get a Severance Package?”
- QA 5: “Other than outplacement, what can an employer do for a laid off employee?”
- QA 6: “Are you a fan of outplacement services?”
- QA 7: “What is ‘after-acquired cause’ for firing?”
- QA 8: “Can my boss make me sign a letter saying I left voluntarily in return for a letter of recommendation?”
- QA 9: “Can I use my severance to get a ‘bridge to retirement?’”
- QA 10: “Work in New Jersey; employer in Massachusetts. Which state’s lawyers can help me?”
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