Alpharetta Severance Agreements Lawyer

Severance agreements can soften the blow of losing a job during a company’s layoff. These agreements offer employees some financial aid while search for another job. However, it is critical to fully understand these legal documents before asking your employees to sign.

If you are laying off employees at your company, you need an ironclad agreement that is beneficial for you and your employees. With help from the skilled attorneys at Sparks Law, you can create a well-drafted document that prevents future problems if employees become disgruntled or breach the agreement. An Alpharetta severance agreements lawyer can help you determine a strategy that fits your industry and circumstances.

What Provisions Should You Include in a Severance Agreement?

Some provisions included in these agreements are obvious, such as the amount of severance pay the employee will receive. A severance agreement will also specify whether the payment will be issued in a lump sum or installments. Other common provisions in severance agreements include the following:

  • All physical property owned by the company must be returned
  • Documents identified as confidential must be handled as the employer directs, including destruction
  • Employees prohibited from making disparaging remarks about their employer
  • Release of legal claims, precluding an employee from suing their employer over employment laws
  • Although an employee can still file an Equal Employment Opportunity Complaint (EEOC), the employer can deny any severance payment in connection with the complaint
  • Injunctive relief and the award of attorneys’ fees if the employee breaches any covenant of severance agreement

Our skilled Alpharetta attorneys can go over other, lesser-known provisions that could be included in a severance agreement to avoid future problems if an employee decides to retaliate for being laid off.

Covenant Restricting Competition in Alpharetta

A topic of much legal discussion, covenants restricting former employees from competing with an employer’s business have been argued up to the Georgia Supreme Court. As an employer, these covenants are essential for you to prevent others from stealing your hard-earned business knowledge and tactics.

Under Georgia Code Section 13-8-53, employers can restrict former employees from competing as long as the restriction falls within a fair geographic area for a fair amount of time. However, the statute also prohibits customer solicitation with no geographic area defined, as long as the time limit is reasonable.

Because these rules are complicated, you should consult the local severance agreements attorneys at our firm to ensure that your restrictive covenants comply with Georgia law.

Severance Agreement Provisions for Older Employees

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) governs settlement agreements with older workers. When laying off an employee over the age of 40, you should include specific provisions in their severance agreement to avoid employee claims that their termination was age-related.

A settlement clause that releases an employer from age claims in exchange for severance benefits must, in plain English, describe how long the employee has to review and rescind the agreement. It also must contain:

  • The exact description of the rights the employee is waiving
  • A statement advising the employee to consult independent counsel for review
  • A statement that an employee is not waiving rights incurred after signing the severance agreement

If you are laying off two or more older employees, consult our experienced legal team before asking them to sign severance agreements that include waiving age discrimination rights. The ADEA could consider the document an exit incentive program, requiring additional information in the severance agreement for it to be valid. Any business owner terminating employees, especially older ones, should work with the skilled attorneys at Sparks Law to draft enforceable severance agreements.

Call an Alpharetta Severance Agreements Lawyer Today

Laying off employees is never an easy thing to do, and emotions can run high for everyone involved. If you are offering an employee a severance package, you need to make sure that it is enforceable and include provisions that will prevent future problems.

Our Alpharetta severance agreement lawyers are skilled at drafting contracts and documents to protect you and your business. Call Sparks Law today to set up a consultation and gain premium insight from our skilled legal team.