Most employees in Florida will not have the benefit of being offered a severance agreement when they face involuntary termination from employment. With Florida following the “at will” basis of employment law, employees in the state – for the most part – can be terminated at any time and for any reason.
However, if you have a contract that governs the terms of your employment, you may be offered a severance agreement.
So, what should our readers know about severance agreements? Well, in general, as part of an employment contract it is common to see “severance pay” as one of the terms of the agreement.
As a result, if an employee is working under the terms of an employment contract and the employer wants to terminate employment, that employee is probably entitled to a final payout.
“Severance pay” is oftentimes used as an enticement when the employment is initially offered, since it provides at least some financial assurance to an employee if things don’t go well at the employment in question.
Severance agreements can address other matters beyond financial terms. Some employers will insert “non-compete” clauses into these agreements, attempting to block a soon-to-be ex-employee from engaging in a similar business, for example.
“Non-disparagement” clauses can be common as well, which make a terminated employee agree not to say things that can damage the public image of the employer, for instance.
In the end, the terms of any given severance agreement will be unique to the situation, the employer and the employee. If you have been offered a severance agreement, it is probably a good idea to get it evaluated, from a legal standpoint, so that you know the pros and cons of the agreement before you sign it.