What is a Separation and Release Agreement?
A separation and release agreement (“separation agreement”) is a contract frequently given to employees as part of a severance package. Usually the employer offers an employee a separation agreement when the employer is terminating or laying off the employee. Separation agreements vary, but they invariably require the employee to release all claims and rights the employee may have against the employer. If you’re given a separation agreement look to see if it includes any non-compete or trade secret provisions. These provisions can attempt to restrict or limit an employee’s ability to obtain subsequent employment. In addition to non-compete provisions, some separation agreements include provisions about trade secret violations.
Should you have an employment lawyer review your separation agreement?
Often employees simply sign the separation agreement without giving it much thought. Unless you’re absolutely certain that you have no claims against the employer and the employer is not attempting to improperly impose a non-compete or trade secret agreement upon you, it’s probably best to have a lawyer skilled in employment law review it for you. Separation agreements can include terms that later cause you problems or terms you may want to negotiate; e.g., a favorable reference, outplacement services, additional compensation or extended benefits, or non disparagement provisions. Before signing a separation agreement, call Denver employment attorney Gregory A. Hall to schedule a consultation. Mr. Hall will examine the contract and advise you about how it affects your rights. Mr.Hall has been handling employment cases since 1996 and has the requisite expertise to properly advise you on your separation and release agreement.