Even in a strong economy, jobs get lost. Whether it’s through automation, a merger, or other market forces, jobs get eliminated all the time. In fact, U.S. employers laid off nearly 20 million workers in 2016. Sometimes, those employees are fortunate enough to be offered severance packages before they’re shown the door. If you’ve found yourself face-to-face with HR because your job’s been cut, speak with an experienced Ohio employment attorney before you agree to anything.
A severance package, generally speaking, is a bundle of pay and benefits offered to an employee whose position is being eliminated. These packages can include:
- A lump sum, or extended payment, based on salary and years of service.
- An extension of medical benefits.
- Stock option, if applicable.
Additionally, these benefits packages are typically accompanied by a severance agreement, which is simply a contract between the employer and employee detailing the rights and responsibilities of both parties. These agreements can include:
- The amount of the severance pay included.
- Any extended health benefits, including a stipulation as to how long they’ll be active.
- A non-compete clause.
- A release of rights, which is an agreement not to file a lawsuit.
If your employer has offered you a severance package, don’t sign any agreement until you’ve had a chance to speak with an employment contract lawyer at Burg Simpson’s office in Ohio. Call us quickly at 513-852-5600 or fill out our Free Case Evaluation Form HERE.
According to Ohio employment law, employers are under no obligation to offer employees severance pay. However, if an employer does decide to offer severance pay and benefits, it must comply with the company policy or an existing employment contract. Additionally, the employer must provide a written description of what the package includes.
Ohio has no laws dictating when an employer must pay wages to employees who:
- Have been fired or otherwise discharged.
- Quit on their own.
- Are on strike.
- Are laid off.
It’s also important to know that Ohio law provides a waiting period of at least 21 days to consider any severance agreement. This provision is in place to prevent employers from forcing workers to sign the agreement immediately or forfeit their benefits. If you have an employer who wants you to sign your agreement right away, there could be a problem. Call the employment law lawyers at Burg Simpson in Ohio right away at 513-852-5600 so we can make sure your rights aren’t being violated.
Burg Simpson is One of Ohio’s Leading Employment Law Firms
Getting laid off from your job can be an incredibly stressful and heart-breaking experience. Severance agreements can be hard enough to decipher under the best of circumstances, and downright impossible when you’re worried about where you’re going to get your next paycheck. Let the wrongful termination lawyers at Burg Simpson’s Ohio office help you. You can contact our Cincinnati office at 513-852-5600 or fill out our Free Case Evaluation Form to discuss your case with us.