Negotiating Severance Packages—A Refresher

Negotiating Severance Packages—A Refresher

2009-03-31 14:12:39

Time Magazine recently wrote a great article on negotiating severance packages in today’s economy, something more and more of us are facing these days.  Glassdoor career and workplace expert Rusty Rueff is quoted in the piece on some if his negotiation tips we’ve written about in the past. 

As a refresher, here are some of the key tips from Rusty when faced with job elimination:

  • Always take the time to seek counsel to understand separation agreement. Your employer will likely want you to sign an agreement before they extend any severance or other separation benefits, and will offer you the time to talk to a lawyer before signing the release agreement. Take that time.
  • Ask for employment and salary continuation versus a lump sum severance payment. Severance usually represents the equivalent salary for a period of time, and companies often disperse this as a lump sum payment because there are accounting benefits.  However, staying on the books gives you the benefit of time to take care of other business that may require employment verification. 
  • Request your benefits to continue through the time of the separation package.  Regardless of whether you are successful in extending employment, you should ask that your health and dental benefits be extended through the ending date of the time of your separation period.  
  • Ask to be an active employment status in company’s system until separation pay and/or period ends.  If you are technically still on payroll, this will help make sure that anyone verifying employment gets a “yes they are employed here” answer. 
  • Ask for continued access to on-site services and benefits.  Perks such as company gym can go far in preserving your lifestyle and health, not to mention keeping expenses down. 
  • Ask to be considered for project work in exchange for extending separation period.  Make yourself positively available to come in and help out as needed shows you want to work with the company by helping them to help you.

Be sure to check out the full post with more detailed tips, along with some other advice for employees we’ve written about in the past.