Severance Packages and Separation Agreements: What Every HR Leader Must Know Today

Duration: 60 minutes

Severance packages have long been viewed as the magic bullet for reducing the risk of termination lawsuits. Makes sense, right? A payout eases the sting of being fired and gives terminated employees a financial cushion during their job search. Perfectly logical.

Unfortunately, what seems reasonable doesn’t really matter when you fire someone. Emotions rule the day. Fired employees feel hurt, singled out and betrayed. No matter how reasonable you try to be, chances are they’ll talk to a lawyer, if only to see what their options may be. And that lawyer will work through a long checklist of potential claims against your company, looking for a lawsuit. (more details below)


WHY ATTEND

Fortunately, a properly crafted severance or separation agreement can mitigate the lawsuit risks that come with termination – but you have to get it right. And that’s easier said than done.

The issues are complex and the questions many: Do we need a severance policy that’s uniformly followed? How much time do we need to give to let employees “think over” our severance offer? Do we have to offer severance at all? Can we make severance contingent upon an agreement not to sue? How do extended benefits fit into the picture?

Getting it right protects you. Getting it wrong can be disastrous.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

That's why we've arranged this must-attend webinar with employment law expert Anniken Davenport. You’ll learn what every HR leader needs to know about crafting legally binding separation agreements, including:

  • Why almost always offering some form of severance pay in exchange for the promise not to sue is the best approach—even if you don’t think the employee deserves it.
  • Whether you need to adopt a one-size-fits all severance policy, or address specific employees and circumstances individually
  • What kind of language the most successful companies include in their agreements to limit the likelihood of lawsuits 
  • How to craft severance agreements that don’t cost a lot, but prove irresistible to workers worrying about finding another position or transitioning into early retirement.
  • Why the best time to think about discharge is before you hire an applicant in the first place 
  • Why your severance agreement should include a promise not to apply for any positions with your company now or in the future 
  • What you can’t put in a separation agreement without getting approval from the Department of Labor. 
  • What to do if you are planning a large-scale discharge

                                        ABOUT THE SPEAKER

                                        Anniken Davenport has taught business law and HR management at Penn State University and directed the Legal Studies Program at Wilson College. She has represented the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in discrimination and employment law cases and school districts in labor negotiations. Anniken holds an MA in writing from Johns Hopkins and a JD from Penn State.

                                        Certification

                                        This program has been approved for 1.0 recertification credit hour(s) through the HR Certification Institute (HRCI) & Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

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                                        What You Get With Each Option close

                                        Live Recording

                                        Live Only

                                        Participation in the live upcoming webinar

                                        Recording

                                        Recording Only

                                        Full MP4 recording of webinar, including Q&A. Choose digital download or CD-ROM by mail.

                                        Live and Recording

                                        Live + Recording

                                        Participation in the live webinar + Full MP4 Recording. For recording, choose digital download or CD-ROM by mail.

                                        Event Package

                                        Event Value Pack

                                        Participation in the live webinar + Full MP4 Recording + Audio-only MP3 recording. For recordings, choose digital download or CD-ROM by mail.

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