A: A dispute resolution clause can include escalation to senior management, mediation (voluntary, non-binding), arbitration (more formal than mediation and can be required and binding), and/or litigation (involves a judge and/or jury). Arbitration is typically considered more efficient and cost-effective, however, an attorney can help assess which dispute resolution method(s) should be used based on the specifics of your agreement.
A: In California, you can apply for, and if eligible, collect unemployment benefits even if you received severance pay. Severance pay is a payment for past work so it is not considered wages for unemployment benefits purposes under certain circumstances. However, the California Employment Development Department will evaluate the amount of unemployment benefits you are eligible to receive and may reduce such benefits by the severance pay you receive. You may consider having an attorney review your severance agreement and answer any additional questions.
A: There are several reasons for using an employee separation agreement - it can be used to protect confidential information and IP, obtain general liability waiver for certain legal claims (e.g., wrongful termination), offer an employee certain benefits and severance pay, and include additional provisions (e.g., non-disparagement clause so the employee cannot spread negative information about the company, return of company equipment, etc.). Just as an employer is not legally required to offer a severance agreement, an employee is not required by law to sign a severance agreement. However, an employee may be more likely to sign a reasonable, balanced severance agreement. You can read more about severance agreements here: https://www.contractscounsel.com/t/g/us/severance-agreement/11#toc--circumstances-for-offering-severance-
A: Typically, your employer drafts a severance agreement for employee's review and acceptance, and the employee may negotiate the severance agreement. A severance agreement generally contains severance pay, post-employment benefits (e.g., healthcare or 401K), release of certain claims/liability, non-compete, non-disclosure/confidentiality, return of company property, and other provisions. An employee should review the severance agreement carefully to ensure the scope of each provision and the limitations placed on the employee are valid, as this is a legal document and it may impact future employment opportunities. You may want to have an attorney review the severance agreement before signing it to make sure it complies with legal requirements and protects your rights as an employee. You can read more about severance agreements here: https://www.contractscounsel.com/t/g/us/employee-separation-agreement/11 or https://www.contractscounsel.com/t/g/us/severance-agreement/11.