As a general rule, employment relationships in Alabama are at-will. That means you can be terminated for any reason (or no reason at all), so long as your employer is not basing the decision on a discriminatory or retaliatory motive.  Thus, there is no entitlement to a severance agreement or separation agreement for terminated employees in Alabama.

Despite the nature of at-will employment in Alabama, many companies offer terminated employees, professionals and executives in Alabama severance agreements to ease the transition for both parties.  These payments almost always include extensive written agreements and releases setting forth certain obligations and waiving certain rights.  If you are offered a severance agreement, it is essential that you understand what these agreements mean and how they can be improved.

The starting point is understanding why the employer is offering a severance agreement to begin with.  Since they are not required to do so, deciphering the employer’s motivation for the severance agreement allows you to determine what leverage you may have in negotiating better terms.  An experienced employment lawyer can help you review your employment situation to understand whether you have potential claims that you could use to negotiate.

One red flag for any severance agreement is if the employer is demanding that you sign the agreement immediately or risk losing any payout.  An employer will almost always give you some time or even encourage you to review an agreement with an employment lawyer before you sign.  If a company is forcing a signature without an opportunity to review, there is likely a reason motivating that decision.

If you would like to set up a consultation to review your severance agreement or have assistance in negotiating a better agreement, contact Will Beckum at Beckum Law today. You can reach me at (205) 588-0699 or