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Have a Legal Question?
Illinois laws do not mandate that employees are given severance agreements or packages by their employer. However, if a severance agreement or severance package is a standard set by your employer for the majority of employees they hire, and your received neither, then the failure to offer the same agreement or package to you, could mean they have discriminated against you. This may allow you to demand the same agreement or package according to the employment laws established in Illinois.
Handbooks containing company policies often become useful if an employee is terminated. It’s imperative for employees to review the listed policies to ensure they are being treated fairly according to the company’s written policy. The court will hold companies responsible for adherence to written policies.
Severance agreements and packages not only serve an employee well, but can also help ensure that employees do not resign without notice leaving a company with an unfilled opening in a critical position. Even if a company decides the employee is not performing to their standards, a severance agreement, and/or severance package may allow the company to move forward with finding the right employee for a specific position providing they are complying with the severance agreement.
Severance Agreements and OWBPA
Typically, most companies desire to protect their interests when drawing up severance agreements, and there are laws stating that depending upon the employee’s age, the company may be required to give an employee a set amount of time to read over the severance agreement and decide if they want to sign it. This is known as the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act (OWBPA) and applies to all employees over 40 years of age.
Executive and employment severance agreements may have some ambiguous terminology not easily deciphered by individuals unfamiliar with the employment laws of Illinois. Our team of employment experts at Goldman & Ehrlich is available to ensure that you are not signing a document that is not in your best interest.
Severance Agreement Representation
Contact a severance attorney at Goldman and Ehrlich to have them review your employment agreements before you sign them.