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Milwaukee (Metro), WI
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When an employer offers you a severance package or separation agreement, they are essentially saying to you, "Your employment is terminated, but we are willing to offer you money and other benefits, in exchange for the surrender of your legal rights and other terms we deem to be in our best interest.” The agreements are usually prepared by the employer’s attorneys and, predictably, drafted in a manner that is favorable to them. They often contain substantial volumes of “legalese,” that may significantly affect your career, livelihood, and reputation, and may even restrict your ability to secure future employment. It is therefore important to carefully consider the legal and practical implications of each term of the severance or separation agreement before signing and/or obtain competent legal advice. In many cases, the agreements actually contain language that specifically instructs the employee to seek legal counsel before signing the agreement. Such language may be a key indicator that the agreement is drafted in a manner that is favorable to the employer, and not to you.
The issues our attorneys will address with you, typically include the following:
Though losing a job is never easy, what ultimately matters most, is how well you handle it. Our law firm believe that the best way to assist a client who has been handed a severance or separation agreement is to carefully evaluate the “hand you are dealt”, and make sure it is played in the best manner possible legally and professionally. Because our attorneys practice exclusively in the field of employment law, we are able to provide the personalized service and legal analysis and practical insights that will ensure your severance package/separation from employment is handled responsibly, and with the best possible outcome. Our services include, but are not limited to, the following: (1) reviewing the agreement to determine whether it is legally sound and/or whether it restricts your right to compete and/or pursue future employment opportunities; (2) attempting to negotiate for additional pay and benefits (or other favorable terms), where appropriate; (3) pursuing an acceptable employment reference or other avenues to preserve your good name and reputation; and (4) working to obtain prompt closure and a successful transition, tailored to the unique circumstances of your termination from employment.
Our Firm’s approach is aggressive but practical. We make every effort to advise and/or negotiate on behalf of our clients in a manner designed to obtain maximum results without “burning any bridges” or involving the client in unnecessary legal disputes. In many cases, we provide advice to clients on a strictly confidentially basis, without any disclosure of our involvement in the matter to the employer. In other cases, if the client prefers, we may reach out to the employer to address and/or negotiate regarding the issues that are central to our client's objectives. Regardless of the approach taken, our firm pledges to provide you with experienced legal counsel, who are knowledgeable about the legal, as well as the practical parameters involved and analyzing, negotiation and/or bringing issues relating to your employment separation, to prompt and successful conclusion.
If the client ultimately decides they are not interested in signing a severance/separation agreement, then alternative options such as the filing of a corporate grievance discrimination complaint (or wrongful termination action), and/or a lawsuit in the state or federal courts, may be explored. In most cases, the name of the game is “leverage.” It is therefore important that you and your attorneys carefully review and evaluate your work history, as well as the specific circumstances surrounding your termination in considering whether or not to sign a severance/separation agreement. In the event you hire a lawyer to advise/represent you, you will likely be best served by someone who not only understands the law, but is also an experienced advocate and negotiator.
Our Firm’s managing partner, Jeffrey S. Hynes has practiced exclusively in the field of labor and employment law for more than 29 years, advising and advocating for clients in both the private and public sectors. Attorney Hynes has an outstanding reputation with his peers, as well as his adversaries. His credentials include being recognized in Wisconsin Super Lawyers – Labor and Employment Law (2005-2014), Legal Leaders™ (2012-2014) and Milwaukee Magazine’s, “Best Lawyers” Edition (1999). Attorney Hynes has served a lengthy tenure as President/Co-Chair of the Wisconsin Employment Lawyers Association, serves on the Board of Directors for the Wisconsin State Bar – Labor and Employment Section, and is a long-standing member of the National Employment Lawyers Association. A Wisconsin native, Jeff is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and also obtained his Juris Doctorate "of Law" Degree from the UW Law School in 1984.
Finally, a word about fees. The attorney’s fees and/or costs clients typically incur in connection with severance package/separation agreements tend to be minimal, compared to the fees and costs associated with litigation, and other services typically provided by employment law attorneys. Most cases involve a short period of review and focused advice. In our view, the key focus for people facing a separation from employment is to do it right the first time, obtain the best outcome possible, and then promptly move on with your lives.
For any questions or concerns contact Hynes & Kuhn, today: 262-505-5678
For any questions or concerns,
contact Hynes & Kuhn, S.C. today: