A lot of people in California think that they should just be happy that the company that they work for offers a severance package, but you might be interested to learn that you have some negotiating power. You don’t have to simply accept whatever package is offered to you. Instead, you’ll realize that you have a lot of negotiating power when you understand how a severance package also benefits your employer.
How employers benefit from offering severance packages
Many people who find themselves being booted from their jobs believe that they have little bargaining power regarding a severance package because their employer doesn’t actually owe them anything. This is partially true. Under employment law, your employer typically owes you any accrued vacation and sick time pay; COBRA insurance; and, potentially, a few other benefits. But they technically don’t have to give you a severance package or anything else unless it was written into your contract.
However, you might be interested to learn that a severance package for you is actually like insurance for the company that you work for. A severance package is often offered as a way to protect the company from being sued if there was workplace harassment. For instance, the company might put in the agreement that the employee can’t sue for harassment, whistle-blower retaliation, wrongful termination or discrimination.
What to do if you were unfairly fired
If you were let go and believe it’s an unfair deal, you should consider if you were fired illegally. Know that you can’t be legally fired because of your age, race, religion, gender identity, national origin and several other factors. If you think that you were unfairly fired, you should feel free to ask questions while being sure to maintain your composure.
If you’re let go from your job, know that you should negotiate as good of a situation as you can for yourself. Don’t feel intimidated into giving up before even investigating your options.