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How to Get More Severance: Insights from an Employment Attorney

So, you’ve found yourself facing a transition out of your current job. Whether it’s due to downsizing, restructuring, or other circumstances, navigating the world of severance pay can be daunting. As an employment attorney who has negotiated countless severance agreements on behalf of employees, I’m here to offer some valuable insights to help you get the most out of this process.

1. Know Your Legal Rights

Understanding your rights is the foundation of a successful severance negotiation. Take the time to educate yourself on the laws and regulations that govern severance pay in your state. Additionally, review your employment contract and company policies—these documents often outline specific benefits and procedures related to severance.

An employment attorney specializing in severance agreements can be an invaluable resource at this stage. They can help you decipher the legal jargon, clarify what you’re entitled to, and provide guidance on how to proceed.

2. Prove Your Value

When it comes to negotiating a better severance package, evidence of your contributions to the company speaks volumes. Gather any documentation that highlights your achievements, such as performance reviews, awards, or commendations. Did you take on additional responsibilities? Lead successful projects? Make sure these accomplishments are front and center in your discussions.

By demonstrating your value to the organization, you strengthen your position at the negotiating table. Employers are more likely to offer a favorable severance package to employees who have made significant contributions.

3. Spot Potential Legal Claims

Take a moment to assess whether you have any potential legal claims against your employer. Instances of wrongful termination, discrimination, or retaliation could significantly impact your negotiation leverage. An experienced employment attorney can evaluate your situation and advise you on the best course of action.

Even the possibility of a legal claim can prompt employers to be more willing to negotiate a higher severance package. It’s essential to have a clear understanding of your rights and options before entering into discussions.

4. Strategize Your Negotiation

Approach your severance negotiation with a well-thought-out strategy. Consider what matters most to you—whether it’s additional financial compensation, extended benefits, a delayed termination date, or job placement assistance. Having a clear list of priorities will guide your discussions and help you achieve the best possible outcome.

Don’t forget to look at the big picture when evaluating offers. Sometimes, non-monetary benefits, such as continued healthcare coverage or outplacement services, can significantly add to the value of a severance package.

5. Seek Expert Guidance

Navigating the complexities of severance negotiations can be overwhelming, which is why seeking the guidance of an experienced employment attorney is crucial. They can provide invaluable insights into the process, advocate on your behalf, and ensure that your rights are protected.

An attorney specializing in employment law will know the ins and outs of severance agreements, allowing you to approach negotiations with confidence. With their support, you can rest assured that you’re getting the best possible deal given your circumstances.

In conclusion, arming yourself with knowledge and seeking expert legal advice are key steps in maximizing your severance package. Remember, this is a transition period, and you have the right to advocate for yourself. By following these tips and working with a skilled attorney, you can navigate the process with confidence and secure a severance package that reflects your true worth.

Don’t hesitate to take control of your future—empower yourself with the tools and resources available to make the most out of this transition. Your next chapter awaits, and with the right approach, it can be a prosperous one.

Legal Disclaimer: This article is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. For personalized guidance on your specific situation, please consult with a qualified employment attorney.


Deborah Yim is the founder and managing attorney of the Primera Law Group. She focuses her practice exclusively on representing employees and small businesses in all facets of labor and employment law. With over 22 years of legal practice, Deborah has also served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice, a corporate litigator at a national law firm, and an employment attorney representing the U.S. Department of the Interior. Read more about Deborah here.

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