Losing your job is one of the most difficult things a person can go through. As someone who has been working in employment law for over 25 years, I can tell you that this is especially true for executives, professionals, and other high-level employees. If you have been terminated from your position, you are likely feeling a range of emotions, from hurt to fear. But this is not the time to feel sorry for yourself. This is the time to take action and protect your rights.
First and foremost, you need to hire a good lawyer. Don’t try to handle this situation alone – too much is at stake. As a high-level employee, you may be offered a severance package that may address stock options, commissions, or company bonuses. You may also have unused vacation pay or other benefits that you are entitled to. However, you could also potentially owe the company money through a draw, relocation bonus, or signing bonus.
An experienced employment lawyer can help you navigate these complex issues and negotiate the best possible deal. They can also help you understand any restrictive covenants in your severance package, such as confidentiality agreements, nonsolicitation clauses, and non-compete agreements. These agreements can have a significant impact on your ability to find future employment in your industry, so it is important to understand them fully and to address them if possible.
In addition to the financial and employment implications, there are also tax implications. You should consult your CPA or tax advisor to minimize your tax obligations and ensure unexpected tax liabilities do not catch you off guard.
Finally, you need to think about your professional reputation in the industry. How your termination is characterized to future potential employers can have a lasting impact on your career. An experienced employment lawyer can help you negotiate the terms of your termination to ensure that your reputation is protected as much as possible.
Remember, you are not alone. While employers often treat high-level employees with respect, even when terminating them, that doesn’t mean you will get the best result. By hiring a good employment lawyer and negotiating an amicable settlement, you can minimize the negative impact of your termination and move forward with your career. So don’t hesitate. If you have been notified of termination, contact an experienced employment lawyer and make the best of a bad situation.
By Adam P. Whitney, 617-338-7000; [email protected]
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