Executive Compensation & Severance Agreements
Benton Employment Law offers executive level consultation for employment agreements, separation packages, and salary negotiations.
In California, the terms executive compensation or executive employment agreement refer to the financial payments and non-financial benefits provided to the upper-level management (including presidents or vice-presidents, chief executive, financial, operating, legal, and other C-Suite executives) within a business or organization. An executive compensation package is a group of benefits that may include health insurance, stock awards (often called Restricted Stock Unit "RSU"), severance protection, deferred compensation, and retirement plans. Executive agreements may also set out the obligations and expectations of the company and the individual in a way to minimize future disputes. Executive agreements are complicated. If you want to truly understand the full extent of your package and maximize your effectiveness in negotiation, consult with BELG.
A severance agreement (sometimes known as a separation agreement or termination agreement) refers to a contract between an employer and an employee detailing the compensation package an employee would receive in exchange for their termination or resignation. Like an executive agreement, there are likely a group of benefits such as health insurance, RSU, retirement plans, etc. included within that agreement.
Most employees do not have a legal right to receive a severance package when their employment is terminated. Companies often offer severance packages regardless of whether they are required to do so because severance agreements can help reduce an employer’s legal liability. It is usually given in exchange for a written promise from the employee that they will not file a lawsuit against the employer.
Since you may be giving up valuable rights by signing an executive or severance agreement, asking an employment lawyer to review the proposed agreement, and perhaps to negotiate changes, is always wise. Having worked with top-level executives at some of the largest companies in California and the world, BELG has a proven ability to appreciate the value of your job and to advocate for the executive or severance agreement you deserve.