With fluctuation in the economy, corporate restructuring and the inclusion of technology, many Americans lose a job at some point during their career. And while that may seem devastating initially, your severance package could help hold you over financially while you look for another job.

California laws do not require employers to provide severance pay to their employees when they separate them from the company. However, if your employer does offer you a severance agreement, there are some things you might want to consider in your negotiation.

3 things you might want to negotiate in your severance package

If your employer offers you a severance package, you do not necessarily have to take it as is. Depending on your situation, things you may want to negotiate include:

  • Pay. You might ask how getting a new job would affect your severance.
  • Options and shares. You may try to negotiate greater vesting, a cashless exercise of your stock options or an extension on the amount of time you have for exercising your options.  
  • Paid time off. According to the policies in your company’s employee handbook, you will probably want to make sure your agreement includes your earned, but unpaid, vacation and paid time off.

It is important to remember that every severance package is different. Since these agreements relinquish your right to take legal action against your former employer, your attorney can help you determine whether your employer is acting within the confines of the law and meeting the terms of your employment agreement.

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