Thursday, February 18, 2021
Thursday, January 7, 2021
I blame so many people for what happened and our current state of affairs:
Thursday, December 10, 2020
Sunday, December 6, 2020
In a good year, many employees are terminated at the end of the year. However, because of COVID, there is a high probability that the termination numbers will be much higher than normal. If you receive your pink slip and agreement, you may want to consider not signing it right away.
First, if you are one of a few employees who were selected for termination, ask why you were let go. Don't be surprised if HR refuses to disclose the reason. Employees at will can be fired for any reason. Therefore, disclosing the justification is not in the best interest of the employer. It may invite a lawsuit.
Second, talk to your co-workers to see who else was terminated. They may know about the selection process. If the termination group consists of mostly women, blacks, or whites a further review may be required to determine if the employer violated nondiscrimination laws.
Third, if HR or your supervisor thrusts a termination agreement in your face, you may want to wait to sign it. Signing anything without reading and understanding the document's terms may lead to regrets later. When you review the agreement, does it require you to waive suit against the employee in exchange for extra money? Large companies tend to wave severance pay in front of employees to guarantee a smooth transition away from the company. Review that document carefully, preferably with a lawyer. If you are a long term employee, you might consider negotiating for a slightly higher severance package.
Also, watch for noncompete clauses. Although the courts have limited these clauses, it's better to nip it at the bud when they arise. Also, make sure a neutral reference provision is in the agreement.
I've negotiated severance packages for employees at all levels. At this point, because COVID has culled the ranks of front line workers, I handle severance packages for management positions only. However, I will review front line severance letters to explain what is going on and how to handle unfavorable provisions.