Most employees in Virginia work on an at-will basis. This means that they are free to come and go from a job as they please. Conversely, this also means that an employer can end employment at any time with no further benefits to employees.
With this in mind, many workplaces choose to offer benefits to their workers in the form of severance pay. This means that if a worker loses their job due to being laid off or most firings, the employer will provide cash payments as compensation.
A Virginia severance agreements lawyer could work with parties to draft these contracts and negotiate specific terms. Additionally, a skilled attorney could help determine if a breach of a settlement agreement has occurred.
Companies looking to enter into severance agreements need to understand how they function. At the same time, workers will want to negotiate terms to ensure the best possible deal.
Severance agreements are a contract in the eyes of the law between two consenting parties. In basic arrangements, an employer agrees to pay a sum of money to a worker if that worker loses their job involuntarily. Usually, this means losing a job as the result of a laying off or termination for anything but criminal activity or gross negligence.
Because these agreements are contracts, they are subject to Commonwealth contract law. As a general rule, parties have the right to make contracts that contain almost any provisions that they wish. However, one constant is the Commonwealth’s statute of limitations for breach of contract cases.
According to the Code of Virginia § 59.1-508.5, parties seeking a remedy after a breach of contract may have as little as one year after the date of the breach to demand compensation in court. This rule means that parties seeking to protect their rights should reach out to a nearby severance agreements attorney as soon as possible.
No party that enters into a contract does so with the intention of fighting a breach in the future. One way to minimize the risk of this occurring is to ensure that a contract is both clear and effective. As applied to severance agreements, this includes ensuring that both workers and employers have a say in drafting the agreement and that all parties understand their obligations under the contract.
A Virginia severance agreements lawyer could take the lead in both these areas. At Sparks Law, an attorney could help companies to draft contracts that clearly state the proposed agreement and that accurately reflect what a company is willing to provide and under what circumstances. From the perspective of the worker, an attorney could help to negotiate for better terms and provide guidance concerning potential auxiliary issues such as eligibility for unemployment pay and tax ramifications.
Severance agreements form a significant portion of many high-level employee benefit packages. They offer cash payments in the event that a worker leaves the job involuntarily. As with any other form of contract, it is essential that you approach the negotiation table from a position of strength and understand your rights and obligations under these contracts.
A Virginia severance agreements lawyer could help companies and workers alike to better understand these contracts, negotiate terms, and stand up for their rights in case of a breach. Reach out to the talented team at Sparks Law today to schedule an appointment.