Executive Compensation, Employment Agreements & Severance Agreements
The world of employment law is often about lawsuits and sexual harassment and other types of unpleasantness. But there is happier side to employment law. Sometimes, your employer is actually not harassing or discharging you, but instead is trying to reward you with a nice compensation package or a generous severance agreement--yes it does happen.
When you find yourself in this fortunate situation, you may be so grateful for your employer's apparent generosity that you don't look too closely at what's being offered to you. That's a big mistake. Whenever your employer is offering you anything that requires you to sign a written agreement, it's a safe bet that they're not doing it out of altruism or generosity; they want something back from you, and there may be a number of provisions in the agreement that are not favorable to you. That's why you should have an experienced employment attorney review any employment agreement that is provided to you by your employer.
The experienced employment lawyers of Buckley & Klein have years of experience in reviewing, and negotiating employment, executive compensation, and severance agreements. If your employer asks you to sign an employment or executive compensation agreement, we can help you review the terms, and negotiate a more favorable package for you.
If you are being offered an executive compensation agreement, there are likely to be a number of complex tax, ERISA and other issues that you need an attorney to review very carefully before signing. The issues that can arise include:
- Deferred compensation
- Stock options
- Restricted stock
- Tax gross up and loans
- Retirement benefits
- Medical, dental, disability and life insurance
- Expense reimbursements
- Travel perks
- Relocation benefits
- Legal and tax fee reimbursement
- Post retirement medical and life insurance
- Scope of termination for cause
- Severance benefits
- Change of control provisions
- Restrictive covenants
- Non-solicitation agreements
- Confidentiality clauses
- Arbitration provisions
These are just some of the many issues you have to face in signing an employment agreement.
At the end of your employment, you may be asked to sign a severance agreement. Severance agreements are agreements in which your employer agrees to give you a number of benefits, including salary continuation, outplacement assistance, and a continuation of your health insurance in exchange for your agreement not to sue your employer for any claims arising out of your employment. Severance agreements can be incredibly complex, and if not carefully reviewed before you sign, you may have obligated yourself to a non-compete or non-solicitation clause, which could seriously impair your ability to take a new job.
Yes, employment agreements can be wonderful things, but they are often full of landmines for the unwary and trusting employee. You can put your trust in us by calling us at 1-877-JOB JUSTICE (1-877-562-5878) or emailing us. We'll fight to help you get the best agreement possible.