If you have recently experienced a layoff from your job you may feel pressured to get a new job as soon as possible and unsure of what your next steps should be.
If you have been offered a severance package as part of a layoff, it can mean the difference between struggling to pay your bills for the next few months or having a cushion that allows you to comfortably search for the right new job for you.
A severance package can be a huge leg up as you start the next chapter of your career; however, you shouldn’t feel pressured to accept your former employer’s first offer. Often, with the right negotiation tactics, an employer will agree to increase the amount of severance offered in a package, or adjust or eliminate terms that that might be unfavorable to you.
In order to be sure you get the right package for your situation, consider hiring a severance negotiation lawyer in Chicago to help. This article discusses how a Chicago employment lawyer can work with you to negotiate a custom severance package on your behalf.
What Types of Lawyers Review Severance Package Agreements?
If you want a lawyer to review your severance package agreement, you should look specifically into an employment law attorney in Chicago.
When you choose to work with this kind of lawyer, you know that they will specialize in resolving the issues that employees face on a regular basis, including providing severance package review services.
A Chicago severance agreement lawyer will be able to take a look at your separation agreement and help you ensure that the value represented on the severance package matches your value as an employee.
An employment attorney also has the legal knowledge to spot potential issues and ensure that the terms of the package follow the law and optimize your outcome. Employers often count on employees not seeking legal review of their severance packages so that they don’t assert their rights and get the most out of their separation agreement.
Once a lawyer determines the value of a severance package as well as if it is in line with the law, they can then advocate on your behalf as the voice behind the negotiations with your former employer.
Benefits of Working with an Attorney to Fight for Your Rights
There are several benefits of working with an attorney to optimize your severance package.
You can be confident that you will receive all the compensation you are entitled to. If there is a lawyer working with you, they know how to negotiate severance agreements and follow through to ensure that you are paid properly.
A lawyer will ensure that your rights are protected. You want to go through the fine print of the package to make sure anything that is included in your severance package is legal and fair to you as the employee. Attorneys are trained to spot issues in the fine print of contracts whereas you may miss it.
In addition to ensuring your rights are protected, a lawyer can also review the non-compete and non-disparagement clauses included in the severance agreement. These are some of the most important clauses in a contract because they have a major impact on how the next steps of your career unfold. A non-compete clause can stop you from working in your industry for a long period of time and can be detrimental to your career. Additionally, if you don’t protect yourself with a proper non-disparagement clause, your former employer can easily cause issues with you finding a new role. Employment attorneys know how to write a contract to protect your future employment.
Another often overlooked benefit is that a lawyer can help you to negotiate additional benefits that aren’t originally included in the package. If there are not any benefits other than pay in the package, a lawyer can help you negotiate for others such as continued health insurance. They may even be able to negotiate to get you a bonus or commission you were expecting shortly but didn’t receive due to a layoff.
Finally, hiring a lawyer enables them to handle all negotiations with your employer on your behalf, relieving you of the burden of confronting your employer directly.
How to Find an Attorney That Is Right for You
The first step to finding the right attorney for you may be as simple as performing a quick google search. Typing something as simple as “lawyer for severance pay in Chicago” into the search bar can yield several results of qualified attorneys in your area.
Once you find a few, you can narrow them down based on reviews and star ratings for their practice. You can also look at testimonials on their websites from past clients. Reviews and testimonials are a great way to judge how well an attorney can be expected to support you throughout the process, which is often overlooked and very important to most individuals.
From there, you can narrow it down to just two or three lawyers that you call to ask the right questions. You will want to ask about their practice, their success rate, how extensive their experience is working with severance packages, their fee structure, payment rates, and more.
You also want to make sure that you get along with the lawyer that you may be working with. Since a lawyer is working alongside you and on your behalf, you want to make sure that you can communicate properly with one another. This will make the entire process much easier for both of you.
Hiring a Lawyer to Look at Your Severance Package
When you have found the right lawyer for you, you will want to discuss with them the most important aspects of the agreement for your situation. Be sure to let your attorney know if you have specific concerns, such as making sure your health coverage continues until you can find a new job, or ensuring that your employer can’t give negative information to prospective employers.
The first step in ensuring your severance agreement is optimized is to get a Chicago severance agreement negotiation attorney on your side. From there, you can begin to work with them to negotiate what goes into your severance package.
If you want to ensure that you hire a lawyer that is going to get the job done, we can help you here at Lazaro Law Group. We have the experience to make sure that you get the best possible starting point for the next chapter in your career and we take pride in making sure you are supported throughout the process.