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Employees often come to me with a proposed severance agreement and general release they received from their employers. These documents can be called a number of things, including a separation agreement, and can take a number of different forms, such as a letter. Typically, they are given to an employee to consider upon termination.  

Because the employer wrote it, the employer has sought...

On May 25, 2018, the Boston Globe sued one of its former employees for breach of contract arising out of a dispute that began on Twitter, and as the Globe alleges, implicates a provision of the parties' 2016 severance agreement. 

According to the complaint, in 2016, the employee separated from the Globe and received some severance pay in consideration for, among other things, an agreement "to cooperate...

February 14, 2018

When an employee is handed a draft severance agreement from an employer, many of the provisions, including the confidentiality or non-disclosure provision(s), will be drafted so that the employee is barred from acting, but the employer is not necessarily. 

A typical confidentiality or non-disclosure provision drafted by an employer looks like the following: 

Employee agrees that the terms, amount and ot...

January 19, 2018

 The Massachusetts Appeals Court last week issued a quick reminder on the effect of general releases in severance agreements. This particular opinion came down after four years worth of employment litigation concerning one man's severance agreement.

First, what's a "general release"? In the context of a severance agreement (sometimes called a separation agreement), if an employee signs one, he or she i...

November 28, 2017

A 2013 lawsuit filed by a former high level employee of the Plymouth County District Attorney's Office recently settled and made it into the news. The case provides yet another example of how an employment law case can play out, so I wanted to write up some of the particular facts here for those employees who are looking to understand how employment litigation works. 

A former Assistant District A...

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