“Can severance be negotiated? Anything I can do if I’ve already accepted the severance?”

Question: My division was just sold to a competitor. I have 40 years of service, and am considered a key employee.

I was left with 26 weeks of severance. I asked for more, but was turned down.

Is there anything I can do?

Madison, CT

Answer: Phil, from your email, I am unable to tell if (a) you have not accepted your severance or signed your severance agreement, or, alternatively (b) you’ve already accepted your severance, signed your severance agreement, and was paid your severance.

(a) If you have not yet accepted your severance, or signed your severance agreement: In this instance, there is a LOT you can do to negotiate better severance. While I can’t list all of the things you can do here, and how to do them, you can learn an awful lot of what you can do by reading some of the articles and Q & A’s on severance in the Library section of this blogsite; just [click here].

You might consider buying a copy of my book, Fired, Downsized, or Laid Off – What Your Employer Does Not Want You to Know About How to Fight Back.  While it’s gone out of print, it is available by instant download on this blogsite by [clicking here], or from Amazon or Ebay.

For over 25 years now, we have found severance to be a very negotiable transaction, if approached in the right way.

(b) If you have signed your severance agreement, and accepted your severance monies: In this case, there are very few things left you can do, because part of every severance agreement I’ve ever seen – and I have seen thousands – is a release of legal claims, and a confidentiality clause, as well. These two severely curtail your options. However, they do not eliminate all of your options.

In one matter we handled some years ago, an employee had accepted his severance, and signed his severance agreement, but nonetheless wanted his job back. By writing to the Board of Directors, and explaining (1) his significant value to the company, (2) his continued loyalty to the company, and (3) his desire to work – probably harder than anyone else – they decided to direct the Chief Executive of the company to rehire him. 

Hope this at least gives you some answers to your question. After reading some of the material on the Library section of this blogsite, consider writing back if you think we can help.

My Best to You,
Al Sklover

Alan Sklover’s Timeless Classic, Newly Updated and Revised

Fired, Downsized, or Laid Off:

What Your Employer Does NOT Want You to Know
About How to FIGHT BACK

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