Learning you’re being let go undoubtedly unleashes an abundance of uncertainty. Maybe you were forewarned, or perhaps you were surprised with a severance agreement. Know severance agreements are written for your employer’s best interests, not yours. We’re here to help. Our employment attorney Austin may negotiate a better deal on your behalf.
How is severance pay defined in Texas?
Under Texas law, severance pay is defined as dismissal or separation income paid on termination of the employment in addition to the employee’s usual earnings from the employer at the time of termination. Texas is an employment-at-will state. Meaning both employers and employees may terminate the employment relationship for:
- a good reason
- a bad reason
- no reason
- anything short of an illegal reason
So one can conclude if your employer has offered you a severance package in Texas, it typically means your employer feels exposed for one of the following reasons:
- a possible lawsuit for terminating you for an illegal reason
- they have violated your contract of employment
- you were subject to harassment or discrimination
What should you do if you receive a severance package offer?
First, do not sign anything right away. Often, HR puts pressure on newly terminated employees to sign a release without question. If you are part of a general, company-wide layoff, you have at least three weeks to sign. If you did happen to sign the agreement and are over forty, you have the right to revoke your signature within a week.
No severance package is a take it or leave it, no matter what your employer might want you to believe. Your employer’s goal is to guarantee you don’t go on to sue the company and leave without controversy. Our employment attorney Austin will ensure the agreement is favorable for your future.
Acceptable severance packages should include:
- If 50 or more employees are simultaneously let go from your particular office, your employer must give you either 60 days notice or at least 60 days pay
- Continued Health Benefits. Federal law requires 18 months of continued coverage. In some cases, your employer may pay you out for some of it
- Bonus earned from the previous year
- Accrued Benefits such as vacation time and sick days
- Compatible Tenure Settlement you should receive more than the employees who worked beneath you and peers who have been at the company for a shorter amount of time
Most employment law claims rest on “he said, she said” claims. Therefore, it behooves you to keep meticulous documentation of relevant details by:
- keeping a journal of daily interactions at work
- saving copies of correspondence to and from your employer (such as complaints to HR, emails to and from coworkers and supervisors, any additional applicable documents)
- gathering audio recordings of conversations without the parties consent or knowledge so long as you are in the same room as the recording device (permissible under Texas law)
Seek Representation Immediately
As mentioned, once you receive a severance package, the clock starts ticking until your response is required. Our employment attorney Austin is here to review your severance offer and negotiate with your employer on your behalf. Give us a call for a free consultation, and we’ll begin strategizing your negotiation.
Our clients receive individualized attention from an attorney, not an assistant or paralegal. Although we handle a wide range of legal issues, our attorneys are limited to practicing a few practice areas to give you the specialized care you need. We are compassionate attorneys that will listen closely to ensure your voice is heard and to implement potential strategies that most other attorney will miss. Call us for a free consult with our real estate attorney to see why we vastly differ than most law firms.
- seeking the relief you need
- evaluating and tailoring a creative strategy for your individual case
- explaining the nuances and subtleties of the law in a clear and concise manner
- effectively communicating with you in a way that will exceed your expectations
- and aggressively protecting and defending your rights
We understand times are tough and that there probably hasn’t been a tougher time in your life. Although we could get away with charging exuberant amounts, we prefer not to as we are a law firm by the people, for the people. We do not want you to worry about whether you can afford to hire a employment attorney Austin to protect and defend your rights. Call us for Foreclosure consult and be surprised at the quality you receive compared to what other Austin law firms will quote you!
Accordingly, the attorneys at AZ Law Firm will always provide you with a free initial consultation. During this initial consultation, our criminal lawyers will evaluate your case, inform you of any legal options that may be available, and allow you to ask any questions that you may have. AZ Law Firm offers affordable rates for all our clients and will work with you on payment plans. Our firm accepts checks, debit cards, and most major credit cards to cover the costs of your legal representation.