{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "I’ve been terminated by my firm. Is there a reason not to sign the separation agreement and accept severance?", "post_id": "5e1f72bd202208001a824719", "reply_count": 28, "vote_count": 6, "bowl_id": "552d1d24dc1c586b09d2d052", "bowl_name": "Law" }

I’ve been terminated by my firm. Is there a reason not to sign the separation agreement and accept severance?

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Only if you think you might have an employment law claim against them and you're signing away litigation rights.

likehelpful

No, there isn’t. See if you can negotiate some more website time

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Depending on the jurisdiction, there may be some ethical implications with keeping a lawyer on the website after separation. I’d be interested to hear more about what’s in the 10 pages of the agreement. Sounds like a lot of words in there.

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Consider having the separation agreement reviewed by an employment lawyer before signing. If you have any potential employment related claims, you may benefit from having counsel negotiate a better separation/severance deal for you.

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Great idea. Some groups behave badly to drive people away and if that does not work, give a low ball severance with general release. Worth a bit of focused legal advice to see what is normal under the cirumstances. Low ball may be very low after all!

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All good suggestions-also make sure that there is not a non-solicitation clause for clients. Most employment lawyers will give you a professional courtesy rate to review the agreement for-but whatever you spend on a review will be worth it-they might suggest having the old firm cover the cost of Cobra for a few months or other things you haven’t thought of.

likehelpful

A non-solicit for an attorney is widely held to violate Rule of Prof. Cond. 5.6(b). I hope no law firm is trying to include that in their severance agreements.

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I’d be wary about making an employment related claim unless the behavior was pretty egregious. Fair or not, if potential future employers learn that you sued a prior employer, that’s going to impact your employability. So I’d generally just sign the separation agreement.

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Agreed more website time and agree to say you parted ways..

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I’m an employment attorney in NY. Was the termination motivated in any way by discrimination?

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It sounds like there may be some leverage to negotiate a potential severance in that case. I’d need to speak with you to see if we can help.

Depends on reason for the termination

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There was not an articulated reason beyond what they perceived to be an irreconcilable difference in work styles. I was at-will. I had a bad review at the end of the year, so if it came to a suit I believe they would say I wasn’t meeting expectations.

Do you understand all terms and ramifications? Was anything left out of the agreement? Do you have unused vacation time that you can have incorporated into the agreement? Can they provide career coaching to help with your transition? Does it account for health insurance/other benefits coverages? Is the amount of money being offered sufficient to carry you until you land the next job? Is there any room for negotiation? Etc. You can always consult with an employment attorney.

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As long as the severance is correct and you aren’t having to sign away any rights that may impact your ability to get another job (non-compete etc). Pay for some good advice. Also I agree with the other posters re website time - that is such good advice!

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I hope people realize that you cannot put a non-compete in an agreement for an attorney. You can't ask for it, you can't accept it. It violates Rule 5.6.

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How many weeks severance is typical? They are offering 4 weeks

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