“Ho, ho ho…you’re fired [or laid off]!” Those are not words that any employee wants to hear, and are even more stressful during the holidays.
Unfortunately, as we enter the holiday season many employers are already looking ahead to next year’s budget and making layoff decisions. During the last quarter of the year, and especially the last two months of the year, many hard-working employees are issued “pink slips,” often despite performing well, and many times with little to no prior notice. In such situations, employers will often offer some severance pay, but conditioned upon executing a release.
Under Florida law, there is no requirement to pay severance, so employers will almost always require a release to accompany any severance offered. It is the proverbial “carrot and a stick,” but provides the employer peace of mind that no post-employment claims can be made against the employer. While there is no precise formula for the amount of severance that is offered, many times employers will offer one or two weeks per year of service, with more being occasionally offered for upper management employees.
Because release and severance agreements typically involve a complete relinquishment of all legal rights, it is advisable to have such agreements reviewed by an attorney. At Wilson McCoy, P.A. we have reviewed many severance and release agreements for employees and drafted them for employers. If you would like to have your severance agreement reviewed or have one prepared for your company, please contact us today at (407) 803-5400 for an analysis of your situation and to schedule a consultation.