Cohen & Mizrahi LLP: An Employment & Severance Agreement Lawyer

Employment agreements and severance agreements can have a lot of legal implications. From wages owed to non-competes, there are many reasons to have your contracts reviewed by a professional employment attorney.

For the most part, employment in New York is at-will – which means, an employer can fire or lay off an employee for whatever reason they choose, or no reason need be given. The law, nonetheless, cannot break the law in ending employment by using penalizing or prejudiced reason. While reviewing a severance package, and whether or not it is in your best interest to settle or not, an expert lawyer should be consulted. The attorney will review the facts and determine if you have a strong case. Depending on the type of evidence, circumstantial or direct, the offered severance amount may not be enough. Cases must be considered on their own, as each is unique.


Generally, an employee is not eligible for severance, unless it was included in the employee’s contract, because the majority of employment is at-will. That being said, there are instances where an employee can negotiate receiving severance under specific circumstances or for having been employed for a certain amount of time. Another instance, for example, is when the employer has a policy in place regarding providing severance at termination which may constitute an implicit contractual right to severance. Often enough, it is in the best interest of the employer to propose severance via a severance agreement when firing an employee.

Severance is normally paid to employees that have been laid off or fired, rather than to those who have resigned. The employer may not be required to pay if there was “cause” to terminate employment, even if a severance agreement had been negotiated into the contract. “Cause” refers to circumstances including, but not limited to, criminal conviction, gross negligence, and company reputation damage.


It is often the case that in order to avoid a retaliation or discrimination claim, employers offer severance. A severance agreement under these circumstances frequently includes a relinquishment of the employee’s right to sue and is possibly offered simply to avoid a potential lawsuit. It is in the best interest of the employee to hire a lawyer to review the agreement and advise on whether or not the agreement should be accepted.

Here in New York City, amongst other places, employers often request employees to sign a severance agreement that authorizes several benefits in exchange for waiving the right to sue for discrimination. These agreements must be thoroughly reviewed with the assistance of a discrimination lawyer. The Cohen & Mizrahi LLP legal team is expert in New York City, representing both employers and employees in legal action.

An experienced and accomplished New York City severance agreement lawyer is a necessary asset when ensuring your rights are well protected whether through negotiations or litigation. Contact Cohen & Mizrahi LLP Today.


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