Your Trusted Austin Severance Agreement Lawyer

If you’re examining a severance agreement in Austin, quick and decisive legal counsel is key. An Austin severance agreement lawyer ensures that you grasp the full implications of your agreement, advocating for your best interests. This immediate engagement can mean the difference between a standard package and a tailored deal that respects your contributions and secures your career transition.

At Galo Law Firm, we bring years of employment law experience to you, so that you can have peace of mind when taking on these difficult situations. Don’t wait, contact us today at 210-764-6135 to learn how we can help you.

Understanding Severance Agreements in Austin

Two men signing a contract.Severance agreements extend beyond mere documents stating your severance pay. They serve as legal contracts with large implications for your future employment prospects. Understanding these agreements can be daunting, given the legal terms and conditions. However, they are instrumental in ensuring a fair termination process, and that’s where we come in.

Our mission at Galo Law Firm is to equip our clients with the necessary knowledge for a confident understanding of their severance agreements. Our team of experienced Austin employment lawyers is skilled at reviewing and negotiating these agreements, ensuring a positive resolution for you.

What Constitutes a Severance Agreement?

A severance agreement, often referred to as a termination or separation agreement, outlines the terms under which an employer agrees to pay money to a departing employee in exchange for certain agreements. This could include:

  • A release of all legal claims
  • Intellectual property rights
  • Stock or equity rights
  • Requirements for future assistance to the company

In Texas, severance pay is owed if it is promised in a written policy or agreement. This is enforced by the Texas Payday Law and the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC). These agreements exclude payments made to:

  • Settle a claim or lawsuit
  • Obtain a release of liability under the Civil Rights Act of 1991
  • Those made in connection with a previously negotiated contract.

Key Elements Every Employee Should Look For

When reviewing a severance agreement, there are several key elements that employees should be aware of. 

For example, non-compete clauses — provisions that restrict an employee’s ability to engage in competing business activities within a certain geographic area and time frame after leaving a company — are treated uniquely under Texas law and can limit an employee’s ability to work with competitors or clients of their former employer after departure. Comprehending the enforceability of these clauses is vital to safeguarding your future career opportunities.

Another critical element is the release of claims clause. This could prevent the employee from suing the employer for issues like discrimination, effectively forfeiting their right to legal recourse for wrongful employment termination for discriminatory reasons.

Additionally, be aware of potential restrictive clauses in your employment contract, such as a confidentiality agreement, which could limit your future ability to discuss workplace matters or file lawsuits, as well as non-defamation and intellectual property clauses that may affect post-employment actions.

The Implications of Signing a Severance Agreement

Signing a severance agreement can have significant implications for an employee. Typically, this involves surrendering the right to sue the employer for possible legal violations during employment or termination.

The initial severance offer should not be accepted as is, as it is fully negotiable and may contain terms that are not in your interests. These could potentially hinder future employment opportunities. Before signing a severance agreement, particularly if you suspect you may have a discrimination claim, it’s imperative to seek counsel from an employment attorney.

The Role of an Austin Severance Agreement Lawyer

Our role as Austin severance agreement lawyers is to safeguard your interests throughout the severance process. We assist employees in understanding the intricate details of severance agreements. Our focus extends beyond the financial compensation to potential benefits such as continued health insurance or COBRA reimbursement.

Our role also extends to identifying areas within severance agreements that can be negotiated, including cooperation provisions. We offer knowledge on terms like the release of claims, non-compete agreements, and confidentiality agreements to ensure clients are fully aware of their options.

Our fundamental principle is to ensure that the severance agreement aligns with an employee’s legal rights and well-being, preventing them from inadvertently waiving rights or agreeing to unfavorable terms without fully understanding the implications.

Reviewing the Initial Offer: A Critical Step

Reviewing the initial offer is a critical step in the severance process. Our employment attorneys thoroughly review a severance agreement to ensure that all its clauses are legal and enforceable, helping to avoid future disputes for both the employee and employer.

Part of our evaluation includes assessing whether the severance pay is commensurate with the employee’s tenure and contributions to the company. We also check the severance offer against the company’s past practices and policies to ensure that the employee is being treated fairly and consistently.

Negotiating More Favorable Terms for You

Negotiating more favorable severance terms for employees is another one of our primary responsibilities. This negotiation considers factors such as the employee’s position, length of employment, and pay. We look for benefits such as unused vacation time or expenses owed to the employee to maximize severance pay before an agreement is accepted.

Our negotiation strategy is comprehensive, considering any existing legal claims and reviewing clauses to align with the client’s future career prospects and industry norms.

Ensuring Compliance with Employment Acts

Another key role we play as severance agreement lawyers is guaranteeing compliance with various employment act regulations. Severance agreements for employees over 40 must comply with the OWBPA and ADEA, offering additional protections and requiring tailored agreements.

The OWBPA requires employers to provide a 21-day period for employees over 40 to consider the agreement before signing, ensuring they have sufficient time to review and understand the terms. For the release of age discrimination claims to be valid under the OWBPA, severance agreements must include clear language and abide by specific timelines, including a 7-day revocation period after signing. We ensure severance agreements comply with OWBPA and ADEA by verifying the inclusion of legally required periods for consideration and revocation.

Representing Employers in Negotiations and Disputes

Beyond agreement drafting, Galo Law Firm stands for employers during severance negotiations and disputes. Our representation includes evaluating potential legal claims an employee may have against the company. We also provide guidance to employers on navigating severance negotiations affected by their existing relationships with employees or management, which can significantly impact the outcomes. 

Our services are customized to match the size of the employer’s company and to address specific changes requested by the employee when negotiating the terms of severance agreements. This ensures a fair and legally compliant outcome for all parties involved.

When to Seek Legal Advice on Your Severance Agreement

Recognizing the right time to seek legal advice is key when dealing with severance agreements. Contacting us as soon as possible is critical to determine if a severance offer is fair and to decide whether negotiations are needed.

It’s important to remember that you typically have a 21-day period to consider a severance agreement, making it essential to seek legal consultation within this timeframe.

Before Signing: Why Timing is Essential

When seeking legal advice before signing a severance agreement, time is of the essence. It’s crucial to ensure your rights are fully protected and the implications of the agreement are clearly understood. The timeline for considering severance agreements is typically short, emphasizing the need for timely legal consultation to protect your ability to negotiate or understand the terms fully.

Failing to obtain legal advice can result in the inability to negotiate termination properly and expose you to potential future disputes or misunderstandings.

After Receiving an Offer: Understanding Deadlines

An employee has the following timeframes to consider a severance agreement:

  • 21 days to accept the offer
  • If the offer is not accepted within this timeframe, it becomes null and void unless a new agreement is offered or other arrangements are made
  • After signing a severance agreement, employees in Texas have a seven-day period to change their mind and revoke their acceptance of the agreement.

During Employment Disputes: Leveraging Legal Support

Amid employment disputes, it is crucial to carefully undergo mediation and arbitration processes under Texas law. Legal guidance during these alternatives to litigation can be advantageous in severance negotiations. Our representation includes evaluating potential legal claims an employee may have against the company, which is integral to determining the negotiation strategy.

We can also provide guidance to employers on drafting severance negotiations affected by their existing relationships with employees or management, which can significantly impact the outcomes.

Customized Legal Strategies for Different Employment Sectors

Galo Law Firm recognizes that Austin’s employment landscape encompasses diverse sectors like:

  • Technology
  • Healthcare
  • Government
  • Education

Each of these sectors has its own set of operational norms and regulatory requirements impacting severance agreements. Therefore, we provide customized legal strategies tailored to these different employment sectors.

Tailoring to Industry Standards

Advising on severance agreements in Austin, Texas necessitates an understanding of industry-specific standards. Standard terms in severance agreements, including release of claims, confidentiality agreements, and non-defamation clauses, must be adapted to address the unique demands of the industry’s regulatory and competitive environment.

Severance agreements are tailored to industry specifics, such as differing durations of severance pay and the inclusion or exclusion of non-compete clauses in sectors like technology compared to manufacturing. Grasping these nuances is of utmost importance in creating agreements that ensure fairness and justice for all parties involved.

Adapting to Unique Employment Roles

Developing severance agreement strategies requires consideration of the specific roles and responsibilities of each employee within their companies. For executives in Austin, severance strategies often entail factors such as stock options, deferred compensation, and potential consulting roles after employment ends.

Protection of intellectual property and the preservation of future creative rights are crucial elements of severance strategies for employees in creative fields. A comprehensive evaluation of an employee’s history with the company and the particular circumstances of their departure is instrumental in customizing their severance agreement.

Consult Galo Law Firm for Your Severance Agreement 

Severance agreements can be difficult and daunting. However, with the right legal guidance, you can face this process confidently and protect your interests. Whether you’re an employee seeking to understand and negotiate your severance agreement, or an employer looking to draft a fair and legally sound severance agreement, Galo Law Firm can help.

At Galo Law Firm, we are committed to providing comprehensive and personalized legal support for all your severance agreement needs. We want to empower you to enter these situations with confidence. Contact us today at 210-764-6135 to learn more about how we can assist you.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a severance agreement?

A severance agreement is a contract that specifies the terms under which an employer agrees to provide compensation to an employee upon departure in exchange for certain commitments, such as releasing legal claims and other conditions.

What role does a severance agreement lawyer play?

A severance agreement lawyer helps you understand, review, and negotiate severance agreements. Trusting a lawyer can make a significant difference in this process.

When should I seek legal advice on my severance agreement?

You should seek legal advice as soon as possible upon receiving a severance offer, as there is typically a 21-day period to consider the agreement.

How does Galo Law Firm customize its legal strategies for different employment sectors?

Galo Law Firm customizes its legal strategies by considering industry-specific standards and the unique roles and responsibilities of each employee. This approach ensures fairness and justice in severance agreements for all parties involved.

How does Galo Law Firm help employers with severance agreements?

Galo Law Firm helps employers with severance agreements by drafting enforceable agreements and representing employers in negotiations and disputes to ensure fair and legally compliant outcomes.

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