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4 issues to negotiate in your severance package

Getting news about a layoff is frustrating. Learning about the termination of your job may leave you in shock and fear. However, the fact your boss is offering you a severance package may soften the blow.

Even though a severance package is a good thing, you do not necessarily need to accept the first offer. In fact, you should negotiate your agreement so it is more in your favor. Here are some of the core points you should work out with your employer.

1. The pay

Your company may need to offer payment because of laws, its policy or an employment agreement. You may also receive severance pay in exchange for a release of liability or non-compete agreement. Here are some factors of payment you may want to negotiate:

  • Increasing the payment
  • Receiving the payment in a lump sum
  • Including unpaid bonuses

While you may not win on every issue, you may end up with a better outcome.

2. Outplacement help

Some employers offer to pay for outplacement assistance so you can find a new occupation. Alternatively, certain companies will give you cash to hire any outplacement firm you desire. If you get news your company is firing you, make sure you ask if you will get help finding a new job as part of the severance agreement. 

3. Health insurance

One of the most difficult aspects of losing your job is figuring out your insurance coverage. Under the federal COBRA law, you may be able to keep the plan through your employer for up to 18 months. Make sure you bring this up with your employer.

4. Unpaid vacation or PTO

You may have accrued vacation pay or PTO that you will not be able to use. Your severance package should pay out any of this amount. Typically, you should receive this payment on the last day of your employment or shortly after.

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