One common misconception is that every employee is entitled to twenty-one days to assess offers for termination packages. Unfortunately, that isn’t accurate. In instances in which the employer only is offering a severance package to a single employee, and the staff member is under age 40, there isn’t any specified period to assess the paperwork that is required by law.
The termination package has to be made ‘voluntarily and knowingly,’ however, allowing the employee time to think about the termination contract before signing.
If an employee who is being offered the termination package is 40+ years, she or he is protected by the ADEA of the OWBPA. According to the law, when this employee is offered the termination agreement and the release of ADEA claim is included, an employer has to give the employee twenty-one days to evaluate and think about the proposed agreement.
Furthermore, if the employee and employer interact in negotiations, the timespan for consideration commences upon the employer’s final offer date.
How Much Money Will You Get?
To help you negotiate your package, you need to know the facts and what you should expect.
Every corporation is different, and there isn’t any law requiring a minimal amount, but, the usual practice includes allotting two to four weeks’ pay for each year worked. If you worked at the company for two years before you were laid off, the employer may give you four weeks’ pay at a minimum, for example.
You may start the negotiation by aiming for four weeks’ pay for each year worked and that you accept no less than two weeks’ pay for each year. If you are in the middle of a year, take the number of completed employment months then divide by 12 for an idea of the number you can request.
Note that seniority within a job often impacts the payment type and payment length.
What Other Things Can You Ask For?
As you are negotiating the severance, try to think outside of the box. If offering you more money isn’t an option for the employer, consider these fringe benefits:
- an extension of your health benefits.
- An agreement upon the wording of why you are being laid off and provision of a reference.
- Consulting work.
- Short-term or project-based work. Maybe your company has somebody working on a major project or going on maternity leave.
For more information and ideas on negotiating your termination package, reach out to your local employment counsel