Severance Packages: Unpacking The Basics

Feb 11 2020

As an employee rights law firm, we frequently handle cases involving the negotiation of severance agreements. These documents can be long and tedious, and you are right to be concerned about whether you understand everything that you are being asked to sign.

We’ve covered many topics related to severance negotiations, but for those needing a basic overview of what to expect, here is a breakdown of the basic elements.

What is severance pay?

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, severance pay is what is often granted to an employee once terminated from their place of employment.  It can be calculated on a variety of factors, including the length of employment.

Most employers are not required to offer severance pay.  However, when a company does offer severance pay, the terms generally will be outlined in a severance agreement.

What may be included in a severance package?

The terms of a severance package will vary from company to company.  In general, though, here are some terms that you might see within the description of what the company is offering you:

  • Years of Service. To calculate the payout you will receive as severance, your employer might use a formula that relies on the number of years you were employed there.
  • Vacation, commission, and bonus. Some companies may offer compensation for any vacation time that you did not use during your employment.  You should also review terms relating to your commission and bonuses owed to you.
  • Other terms. The severance package also can include the continuation of certain benefits, such as health or life insurance.

For many, understanding what happens to your health insurance is a major concern. Under the federal law known as COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act), a terminated employee can still continue medical insurance with the company for a period of time, albeit at the employee’s expense.

You deserve justice. We are here to fight for you.

Being let go from your company can be overwhelming and difficult for you and your family. Don’t take it on alone. Contact a trusted Connecticut employee rights law firm to make sure you receive what is rightfully yours.

If you have received a severance agreement for your consideration, you should speak with an experienced employment attorney. Know your rights and options. Contact our Connecticut lawyers today for an evaluation of your situation.

Share this Post

severance agreement basics garrison law

About the Author

Garrison, Levin-Epstein, Fitzgerald & Pirrotti, P.C.

You deserve justice. We are here to fight for you.

Best Lawyers

Let Us Review Your Case

    We will respond to your message promptly. Although we will keep your message strictly confidential, please note that contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship.

    Client Experiences

    During a very difficult employment situation, I was referred to Joe Garrison. Recognizing the volatile and time sensitive nature of my employment situation, Mr. Garrison met with me immediately (on the weekend no less). He listened to the details of my case, was able to think through possible creative solutions to offer the employer, and was responsive to my myriad of questions. He understood my concerns about litigation versus settlement, and he worked to find the best resolution possible. I am grateful to have had his support at a very difficult time. —J.C., New Haven, CT

    You will never meet a more knowledgeable and compassionate professional than Steve Fitzgerald. My employment situation was very complex, and Attorney Fitzgerald kept me focused while remaining extremely adept and “thinking on his feet.” Should the need present itself again, I would never seek anyone else’s counsel regarding employment issues. I cannot recommend him highly enough. — J.R., New Haven, CT

    Nina Pirrotti provided outstanding legal advice and was trustworthy, dependable, and responsive. From the start, I was confident that her knowledge and experience would obtain favorable results. On a more personal note, I enjoyed working with her and her staff and felt I was included in every part of the process. The dedication, concern, and interest in me as a client was greatly appreciated, and Nina has earned my highest recommendation. — J.H., Monroe, CT

    I recently found myself in need of a lawyer in handling a dispute with my former employer. I was fortunate to retain Josh Goodbaum as my legal counsel. His legal skills knowledge and professionalism shone through in every step of the process resulting in a very positive result. I highly recommend Josh if you find yourself in need of legal counsel. — S.R., Guilford, CT

    When I go to a lawyer for advice, I am usually anxious, particularly the first meeting. Amanda DeMatteis was clear in describing my options and immediately set me at ease. Realistic assessment is important, and Amanda was clear as to how to set up the case and the direction she felt we should go. I had total confidence in her abilities and knew I was being well represented against a large corporation. More importantly, we were successful! —N.M., Haddam, CT

    Proven Results & Personalized Attention When You Need It Most

    American Law Institute Super Lawyers American College of Trial Lawyers Best Lawyers The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers
    Back to Top
    (203) 815-1716