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Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq., Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
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Experience:  Employment/Labor Law Litigation
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I have a severance agreement question. When does the document

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I have a severance agreement question. When does the document actually become effective? Is it when I sign it or in this instance it states in the confidentiality clause "this term became effective on July 3, 2013, when both parties originally reached an agreement."
This is an untrue statement.
I am concerned by this sentence though because above that it states of the confidentiality is breached they can terminate the agreement.
I am also concerned because I was discussing the fact that I was negotiating a severance" package up with people (friends in the workplace) up until July 3rd, 2013.
Thank you for your question today, I look forward to assisting you. I bring nearly 20 years of legal experience in various disciplines.

Well, normally it doesn't become effective until the date signed, unless the document specifically indicates an earlier date up which it became effective.....which is a completely legal provision if both parties agree to it.

No, the document won't become legally effective until you sign it, but it will incorporate any time period agreed to in the document. If you can't agree to the contract with that provision, you'll have to tell them that you don't want that provision.

That being said, your own statement is that you were discussing this agreement with people up until July 3rd. If you mean that you actually continued to talk to them up to and INCLUDING July 3rd, then yes you could be found in violation of that provision as written and lose the severance. If you mean up to but NOT including July 3rd, then you wouldn't be in violation.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I was discussing it up to and including July 3rd.

I am concerned that they put this in the agreement to pull the severance back. Can I cross the date out and put (July 4) or (July 11) the actual date of my signing?


The statement in the agreement is not a true statement. It states July 3, 2013 is the date we reached an agreement. However I have the actual email from that day asking them to send me the agreement. Again though no agreement made.

You can't just unilaterally do that and it be an automatic change that they legally accept. You need to discuss it with them first.

Now, that being said, I don't really understand what they'd gain by going through the effort of putting together a severance and then trying to make sure you breach it. If they pull back the severance, the contract isn't in effect and you can sue them again. If they really wanted to not do the severance, they could just decide not to sign it.

Again, if you are not comfortable with the statement in the agreement, you have to tell them and then make the change. They can either accept it or not, because it is a material change to the agreement.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.


I really appreciate your help. This has been a very crazy situation and one that I know could be taken quite a bit further. I just want to leave this all behind me. I only have one more question? If I discuss the change with them and advise them it is an incorrect statement but they still refuse to change it. Could that work in my favor if this ever went to court because they stopped paying? Also, just a little FYI...they have already signed it.


You can't make the change now that they've signed it unless they agree to the change.

If you ask them to make the change and they don't and you sign it, the fact that you asked them to change it won't help you in terms of them ceasing to pay on it. They don't legally have to change it.

Terms in contracts contain statements that aren't factually true all the time. It's just what the parties agree to say is true, for purposes of the contract.

I really don't see this as an effort for them to get over on you. If they didn't want to pay you, they would just not have entered into the agreement. They want the waiver of suit that you are agreeing to here.
Allen M., Esq. and 4 other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your help. That makes sense.

I just have to ask you one more thing only because I am curious if you might know? Why would a large corporate company continue to pay off numerous woman who have filed hostile/discrimination claims against one woman. She is a manager and they are very aware of the behavior but just continue to pay off the little guys to keep it hush hush?
Just thought I would ask?


Because they like her work?

Honestly, I don't know. Usually, the person is well placed in the job, has some sort of connection, etc.