If you’re leaving a business, whether you’ve been fired or you’re quitting, you may believe that you deserve a severance package. You should get some level of compensation as you exit that role. This may be direct financial compensation, stock options, benefits for a certain amount of time and the like. Essentially, it is supposed to reduce your stress and make it possible to take your time and find a new job after you leave the one that you have. There’s no pressure because the package gives you financial stability for a set amount of time.
But do you deserve this type of package? It all depends on the terms of your employment.
The severance agreement
If you’re an at-will employee, you won’t get a severance package. You were simply employed and paid by the hour, and your employer can fire you at any time. You can also quit at any time. But there is no obligation to give you any benefits or cash on the way out the door.
If you do have a contract, however, then you may have negotiated a severance agreement at the beginning. This can help to define exactly what you deserve as you leave the company, or it can set up a framework that will be used while you negotiate the exact details. This means that some of the negotiation may have to be done as you are exiting the company. You want to make sure that you’re well aware of the exact terms and conditions under which you’re leaving before you officially quit.
This process can get complicated and may even become contentious. Be sure that you are well aware of the legal steps you need to take to protect what you deserve.