Kaufman & Forman, P.C.
Call to arrange a consultation
678-957-7769 | 800-461-5864
Contact Us
practice areas

Severance agreements carry more explicit terms

Ever since the #MeToo movement became a household phrase following the Harvey Weinstein allegations, companies of all kinds have been reevaluating the terms of their severance agreements. It is a testimony to modern corporate life that many severance agreements now contain explicit language based on a company’s new code of conduct—but in some, the language is still unclear.

Backing up words

Many companies believe they should not underestimate the power of the #MeToo movement, so they put more teeth into their employment contracts and severance agreements. However, some companies do not go far enough in that they fail to update their code of conduct, which usually appears in an employee handbook or manual.

Background checks

A male executive about to join a company may go through questioning about his past, and certainly a background check. The new company may want to know if the potential employee was ever charged with harassment or found guilty of sexual misbehavior at a former company. The candidate may not be comfortable with either the interrogation or the wording in an employment contract, especially if the terms surrounding the possibility of termination appear to be fuzzy. Some negotiating may be in order, and even if the language is not as clear as he would like, the candidate may sign because the salary and benefits package might be too good to pass up.

Termination may happen

A highly-paid executive on his way out the door has a right to expect the terms of a severance agreement to be explicit with language that is straight-forward and crystal clear. However, considering the power of the #MeToo movement, if the language in the severance agreement lacks clarity, or if clear language addressing employee misconduct does not appear in the company’s overall code of conduct, the executive may have grounds for contesting his termination. To keep that from happening, the employer should not hesitate to request a legal review of company documents, with special emphasis directed toward the wording of employment and severance agreements.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Contact Kaufman & Forman, P.C. Now

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

get Legal Help Now

Kaufman & Forman, P.C.
8215 Roswell Road
Building 800
Atlanta, GA 30350

Phone: 770-390-9200
Fax: 770-395-6720
Atlanta Law Office Map

Review Us

Robert Kaufman has been selected as a 2013 Top Rated Lawyer in ‘Commercial Litigation’ as will be published in the May issue of The American Lawyer & Corporate Counsel magazine.Alex Kaufman has been selected as a 2013 Top Rated Lawyer in ‘Commercial Litigation’ as will be published in the December issue of The American Lawyer & Corporate Counsel magazine.

*AV Preeminent and BV Distinguished are certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the confidential opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell ratings fall into two categories: legal ability and general ethical standards.