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Key questions to answer when negotiating a severance package

It doesn't matter if you're in the process of reviewing an employment contract or dealing with the aftermath of your termination, it's critical to understand your legal rights and the steps you can take to protect them.

For example, negotiating a severance package is extremely important. If you have the opportunity to do this before signing an employment contract, it always makes sense to do so.

Here are some key questions to answer during negotiations:

  • Can you get the employer to increase the amount of pay?
  • Are you able to receive your severance pay in one lump sum, or will it be paid out over the course of several months (or longer)?
  • In addition to a monetary payout, what else does the severance package entitle you to? Health insurance?
  • Will you receive any unpaid commission or bonus payments?
  • Are you entitled to pay for unused vacation days, sick days or personal time off?

It's easy to overlook these questions, and many others, if your primary focus is on nothing more than the amount of money you'll receive.

Even though it can be a challenge to negotiate a severance package, don't let it stop you from taking action. You may not get everything you ask for, but it's better than looking back and wondering what could have been.

If you're negotiating a severance package after termination, don't let your employer manipulate you to their advantage. You know what's in your contract, so start there. If you're reasonable with your requests, you may find that you're able to secure additional compensation and benefits.

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