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Severance & Separation Agreements

McGillivary Steele Elkin LLP has successfully reviewed proposed severance packages on behalf of employees across all industries, from Executive Directors of multi-million dollar non-profits to senior executives in the private sector negotiating better
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McGillivary Steele Elkin LLP has successfully reviewed proposed severance packages on behalf of employees across all industries, from Executive Directors of multi-million dollar non-profits to senior executives in the private sector negotiating better and more just severance packages for high level executives whose jobs have been eliminated or who have been asked to leave the company/organization. Severance agreements can be complex, and we can identify leverage for negotiating more favorable terms with your employer.

A severance agreement is a contract between an employer and an employee which details the terms of an employee termination. The agreement summarizes the benefits the employee will receive upon termination, such as:

  • The length of time your former employer will pay your salary;
  • Health insurance benefits for you and your family;
  • Negotiating outplacement services;
  • One-time payouts for things like accrued vacation days and stock options; and
  • Releases from restrictive covenants you may have entered into with your employer, including non-compete or non-solicitation agreements.

While many firms only step in once you’ve been issued a termination notice or have been informed of a pending separation, we are also able to help you plan your departure if you have decided to transition to other work, and we are not afraid to look for leverage to renegotiate any pre-employment contracts you may have signed.

For more information, email us at info@mselaborlaw.com or call (202) 833-8855 to set up a free consultation with an employment attorney today, or click the link to access the Contact Us form in the menu header above.

NLRB Restores Rule That Severance Agreements May Not Require Employees to Waive Labor Law Rights (McLaren Macomb and Local 40 RN Staff Council, OPEIU)

On February 21, 2023, the National Labor Relations Board issued a decision (McLaren Macomb and Local 40 RN Staff Council, OPEIU) restoring the Board’s longstanding rule that severance agreements that require workers to broadly waive their rights under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) violate that law. Specifically, the agreements at issue in McLaren prohibited furloughed hospital employees from making statements that could disparage or harm the image of the employer and from disclosing the terms of the agreement. The agreements also provided for monetary and other penalties should the employees violate those provisions.

This decision reversed a 2020 Board decision (Baylor University Medical Center) finding that offering such severance agreements was not, by itself, unlawful. In reversing the Baylor decision, the NLRB found that it had “granted employers carte blanche to offer employees severance agreements that include unlawful provisions.” The Board explained that severance agreements containing such broad waivers were attempts to deter employees from exercising their statutory rights at a time when employees may feel pressure to do so to obtain other benefits included in the agreements.

Among other relief, the Board ordered the employer to rescind the permanent furloughs of the employees presented with the unlawful furlough agreements and to make them whole for any lost earnings, benefits, or other foreseeable harms.

McGillivary Steele Elkin has successfully reviewed proposed severance and separation agreements on behalf of employees in a wide range of industries. If you your employer has presented you with a severance or separation agreement, and you have questions or concerns about the terms, contact us at info@mselaborlaw.com.

Legal Representation for All Workers

When McGillivary Steele Elkin LLP decides to take your case, it is because we believe there is an unacceptable workplace violation that has negatively impacted you or resulted in your employer paying less than what the law requires and which we have a reasonable chance of remedying. We recognize that meritorious claims should not go unremedied because of the level of a person’s resources.

To ensure accessible and available legal representation for all our clients, MSE handles cases through different forms of fee arrangements, including contingency fees, hourly fees and fixed fees.

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