What Is A Severance Agreement, And Should I Have One in Oklahoma?


Leaving a job can be a terrifying decision to make. Especially if you do not currently have a new job lined up, finding out that you have been terminated from your current position can open up numerous questions for you and your family. You may start to wonder how or when you will find another job or how you will pay the bills. One way that many employers help with some of these questions is to offer a severance agreements.

A severance agreement may help you make the transition to your new job more manageable and take some of the pressure off while you look for a new job. But there are some things to be wary about before you sign your severance agreement.

What Is A Severance Agreement in Oklahoma?

Severance agreements can be commonly known as severance payments or separation payments. These are benefits that employers give employees after they have been terminated. Usually, the termination must occur for a reason outside the employee’s control. These reasons include location closures, layoffs, and, most recently, pandemics.

Employers may offer lump sum payments or payments equal to your usual pay for a specified number of weeks. You may also get an offer to continue your current health insurance or retirement plan for a specific period.

Benefits To Businesses Offering Separation Agreements

So, why do employers offer severance packages? They usually do not have to, and many would save a large amount of money if they did not offer the payments to outgoing employees. Usually, in agreeing to the severance package, an employee agrees not to sue the employer for various reasons. Another reason might be that its just good community relations and a way to avoid mediation or arbitration requirements. An employer invests large sums of money in relations with employees and when they leave angry that’s not good for anyone.

If you are an employee you should fully understand the rights you are releasing when signing a severance agreement. Usually, such an agreement is offered and you might feel you have no option but to agree. This is done to help persuade you to sign the agreement and could potentially limit your rights and might even include non-competition requirements. Employers and employees are both giving up rights and its important to understand what they are.

Benefits To Employees In a Severance Agreement

Understanding what terms are generally included in a severance agreement is essential to determine how your offer stacks up. It is also important to know that you can negotiate terms in your agreement. If you decide to do this, you’ll want to ensure you have an experienced negotiator on your side. Your employer will have their attorneys prepared to talk you out of any change you want.

Portions of the agreement that are typically included and may be negotiated:

  • Severance pay amount
  • Health insurance termination date
  • Bonus payments
  • Job placement assistance
  • Restrictive covenants, such as a covenant not to compete
  • Non-disparagement clause

If your severance agreement doesn’t address the above items, you may be able to add items and discuss what they may mean for you before you sign.

More Interesting Business Law Articles From Our Tulsa Lawyers Blog

Tulsa Business Law Attorneys

It is essential to have a good team on your side. The business law attorneys at Kania Law Office can help you evaluate the separation agreement you have been offered and ensure you are getting the best for you and your family. Call our offices at 918-743-2233 or visit us online to schedule your consultation.

Tulsa's Local Lawyers

Law ScaleAre you looking for Tulsa attorneys who will fight aggressively for you? Our team of attorneys have the experience needed in Oklahoma law to secure the outcome you deserve.

Call us today for a free consultation 918-743-2233 or contact us online.