Severance and Non-Compete/Non-Disclosure Agreements
Our law firm regularly negotiates severance agreements in Virginia and the District of Columbia. Severance agreements are essentially agreements that compensate an employee in exchange for their departure from an employment position.
A Severance Agreement is a contract between an employee and an employer that specifies the terms of an employment termination. Severance Agreements are also offered to employees who are laid off or facing retirement. In addition, depending on the circumstances, a Severance Agreement may be offered to an employee who resigns or is terminated.
Employers are generally required to provide an employee time to consider the Severance Agreement before signing. The Older Workers Benefit Protection Act (OWBPA) requires that an employer provide employees over 40 years of age with a 21-day consideration period (or 45-day consideration period, if part of a larger reduction-in-force) and at least a 7-day revocation period.
Some of the issues to consider in a Severance Agreement may include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Financial terms, tax consequences, and timing of severance payments
- Continuation of employment benefits
- Rights to unemployment compensation
- Claims to be waived
- Re-employment possibilities
- Scope of non-competition
- Preservation of trade secrets
- Recommendation letters
- Applicable law
Before signing a Severance Agreement, the employee should consult with an attorney to discuss the rights that he or she may be waiving and the terms of the Severance Agreement. We can further assist with editing, drafting, and negotiating severance agreements.
A non-compete agreement is basically a written agreement in which an employee agrees not to leave an employer and then compete for the same business when they leave their employment. Typically, non-compete clauses are inserted in employment agreements by an employer during the hiring process. Common characteristics of non-compete agreements include duration of the non-competition period, limits as to competition for certain customers, and the geographic boundaries of the non-competition area.
When entering into a non-compete agreement or when questions arise as a result of the non-compete agreement, it is very important to seek legal advice before signing this type of agreement or when questions of enforcement arise. We can further assist with editing, drafting, and negotiating non-compete agreements as well as responding to cease and desist letters from employers seeking to enforce their non-compete agreements.