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What Is Included in A Severance Package?

by | Worker’s Compensation

If you are in the process of ending an employment relationship, you may have questions about the value of the severance payment or package you are being offered. While this can be confusing, there are a few parts of the packages you should look at to determine if it is fair. You can also consult with a South Dakota workers’ compensation lawyer to learn more about your rights and what’s fair. 

The Contract 

You should start evaluating your severance package by looking at your employment contract. Here, you should find the amount of time an employer must give a worker if they decide to terminate their contract. There are many different types of terms in an employment contract, and there’s no single standard form of an employment contract. 

While this is true, in most cases, your employment contract will outline things like:

  • The amount of notice employers are required to give their workers (usually depends on the employee’s tenure when they are terminated)
  • If the employer can pay the employee instead of giving advanced notice
  • If the notice includes salary only or salary and extended benefits

There are a few elements of an employment contract that must be present before they are able to set parameters for severance. These include:

  • The employment contract was signed prior to the worker being employed, or it was signed for some type of valuable consideration
  • The contract doesn’t violate any of the minimum requirements outlined in the Employment Standards Act
  • There are no issues that resulted in the contract being unenforceable by events that occurred during the employment relationship

While some of these things may be confusing, you can count on a workers’ compensation lawyer to help you better understand your rights in this situation. 

What Happens if There’s No Employment Contract

If there isn’t an employment contract in place, then the reasonable amount of notice that is necessary is based on common law. In these situations, the law considers the particular considerations of a worker’s employment. They will also try to find comparable cases to find ranges of reasonable notice that are like the situation. It is an option for employers to disagree with the amount of notice that is required in the situation based on workers’ compensation law. 

Determining What’s Required for Your Severance Package 

There’s no single definition regarding what your severance package should include, and they can vary by company and industry. However, usually, a severance package will include pay through the date of termination and any earned vacation time. It should also include unreimbursed business costs and another lump sum payment. There are laws for some employers that provide employees the opportunity to keep their health care coverage at the employee’s expense. 

Protecting Your Rights 

When you are terminated from a job, knowing your right to a severance package is important. Keep the information here in mind, which will help you know what you are entitled to. You can also reach out to our attorneys, who can answer any questions you may have about your rights in these situations. 

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