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Severance packages are voluntary agreements

Some people who start working for a company opt to do so only when they have a severance agreement in place. This provides them with specific benefits in the event of a termination or other negative employment action. It is imperative to understand what these can do and what you need to do to protect yourself using one.

First, remember that employers don't have to provide a severance agreement. This is completely optional and can be fully customized to fit the situation when one is used. There are many different conditions that might be included in these.

Second, remember that you probably aren't covered under the agreement if you voluntarily leave the job. You also likely won't be able to get the severance package if you are fired for a good reason. If the company downsizes or lays off employees, you would be able to get the package if you are affected.

Third, there are times when a severance is a mutual agreement between the employee and employer. In this case, you should be provided with the benefits package that is included in the severance agreement. Not all situations where a plant closes or when there is a mass layoff will qualify for severances, so you need to find out how your specific situation might be affected by laws.

Finally, remember that some severance packages are contingent upon you not going to work for a competing company. If you are found to break this part of the contract, you might have to repay anything that you received. This is one reason why you must ensure that you understand the terms of the agreement.

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