Do you suspect that you may be laid off or terminated in the near future?

If the writing is on the wall, you should be prepared to negotiate the best possible severance deal with your employer when the time comes. The emotional shock can be devastating, so it helps to have a strong advance game plan.

Generally, if you lose your job as a result of a large group layoff, you may have a tougher time negotiating a better severance package. But it’s always worth trying, especially if you have a long history of service at your company and have built strong relationships there.

To find closure and move on to a brighter future, you will need to stay focused and as objective as possible. Here are a few key points to keep in mind:

Take some time to digest your initial severance offer.

Your tenure in your position is just one consideration. If you are being fired because your boss feels that you have failed to meet performance expectations, your offer is likely to be on the lower end of the scale. But if your company has been bought out or your termination is the result of other economic factors, you may have more leeway.

  • Don’t sign anything until you consult a lawyer or professional coach. Companies routinely ask employees to sign a document that waives virtually all rights to sue under federal discrimination statutes or state or local law. You also may be presented with a non-compete agreement. Under federal law, workers aged 40 and older can take 21 days to review a severance agreement. This time period is routine for employees of all ages at most companies.

Negotiate for a better deal.

Begin negotiating for a better severance agreement by reviewing your work history in detail. Examine any and all documents that chart your history at the company and how well you performed your job. Then:

  • Find out where there may be some flexibility. Simply put, there are some things your employer can negotiate and others that are outside management’s control. For example, healthcare and insurance coverage may be determined by carriers, not your company. But, you may be able to boost your severance package to help foot the bill for COBRA coverage.
  • If you’re in the midst of a long-term project or see a particular need in your department, as to complete your assignment or take on another task. This may turn into an opportunity to demonstrate your value, so your employer reneges on your termination. At the very least, you may buy some time.
  • Address future job references. Your separation agreement negotiating can address what is put into writing when prospective employers check into your work history. It can spell out just who provides a reference and what information may be shared over the phone, as well.

If you need to negotiate severance pay now – or sense this may be a possibility in the future – consider joining the Talent Network at PrideStaff Fresno. You’ll have access to a broad range of positions where your skills can be put to the best possible use and the fit will be just right for advancing your professional future. Read our related posts or contact us today to learn more.

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