Financial Services & Accounting Firm Layoffs: Separation Agreements, Unpaid Compensation & Negotiation

In these challenging economic times, the landscape of the financial services and accounting sectors is rapidly evolving. Many professionals are facing layoffs or reductions in force. 

Even in these circumstances, however, there are opportunities to negotiate separation agreements that not only recognize the contributions you made to your employer but also safeguard your future.

A layoff shouldn’t force you to leave behind a chapter of your career, as well as job security and unpaid compensation. In any situation where you lose your job, contact Potomac Legal Group before you sign any agreement, especially if your employer owes you compensation, you are over age 40, or you are a member of another protected class. 

Contact Us Today to Discuss Your Matter

Our attorneys are available to schedule consultations to fully review your employment situation and determine the best options for moving forward. Whether you desire to negotiate a better separation package, or you are seeking damages for wrongful termination or unpaid commissions, contact us for assistance prior to signing a separation agreement.

Understanding the Current Economic Climate

Economic volatility, technological advancements, and regulatory shifts are reshaping the way financial services and accounting firms operate. This can lead to significant workforce adjustments, including layoffs and restructurings. 

The rapid pace of technological advancements is quickly reshaping the sector, reducing the need for human labor in certain areas through automation and AI. Furthermore, global events, including economic downturns, political instability, or public health crises, can have a profound impact, leading to decreased business activities and subsequent workforce adjustments. 

Potomac Legal Group is committed to helping professionals navigate these changes with legal strategies tailored to this unique sector.

Experienced Legal Counsel for Separation Agreements

Our attorneys specialize in understanding and negotiating separation agreements that are responsive to dynamic market conditions, vigorously protecting your rights and career. In an industry where bonuses and incentives form a significant part of compensation, we are also experienced at negotiating and seeking to recover unpaid earnings, ensuring that professionals receive what they’re rightfully owed.

Employee Rights

One of the most crucial elements in the employee’s corner during a layoff is the array of rights they possess. Regardless of the reasons behind the layoff, every employee is entitled to certain protections under the law. This includes fair compensation for the work done up to the time of termination. In many cases, employees are also entitled to receive a separation package that is in accordance with any plan that governs the layoff package. Employees also have employment rights related to being a member of any protected class. Employers often include certain employees in RIFs to disguise blatant employment discrimination.

The Power of Negotiation

An employee always has the right to attempt a negotiation. Contrary to what many may believe, a layoff notice does not necessarily mean the end of the discussion regarding the terms of your departure. Employees have the right, and in many cases, substantial leverage, to pursue a negotiation of the terms of their exit. This negotiation can cover various aspects, such as the size and structure of the severance package, the continuation of benefits, and other terms that could ease the transition. Effective negotiation can lead to terms that not only recognize the employee’s years of service and contributions to the firm but also support their future career prospects.

Empowering Yourself During a Layoff

As an employee, it’s essential to understand that layoffs, while challenging, do not leave you powerless. Knowing your rights and being prepared to negotiate are key tools in your arsenal. If you find yourself in this situation, consider seeking legal advice or consulting with a professional to guide you through the process, ensuring you receive the fair treatment and compensation you deserve.

Maximizing Your Separation Package

In the event of a layoff or reduction in force, your separation package is not a farewell gift; it’s a crucial component of your transition. A well-negotiated package can significantly ease the impact of a layoff, providing financial stability and essential benefits during your career transition. 

Financial Compensation Considerations

Your severance package should reflect the dedication and value you’ve brought to the employer. Key considerations in this regard include:

  • Years of Service: The length of your tenure is a testament to your loyalty and commitment. It is important that your severance package acknowledges your commitment. Longer service should equate to a more substantial severance payment, recognizing the time and expertise you’ve invested in the firm.
  • Revenue Contribution: If your role has directly contributed to the firm’s revenue – be it through client management, business development, or direct financial operations – this should be a significant factor in determining your compensation. Your ability to drive financial success for the firm warrants acknowledgment in your severance terms.
  • Unpaid Compensation: In addition to negotiating severance packages, our attorneys examine issues of unpaid wages or bonuses. Our goal is to ensure that every dollar you have earned is accounted for in your final agreement.
  • Age Factor: Age can be a crucial aspect, especially for those who are closer to retirement age or who may face challenges in re-entering the workforce. We advocate for severance terms that consider age, ensuring that those who are later in their career are not disadvantaged by their years. Our attorneys also review your matter for possible age discrimination.

Non-Financial Benefits

Beyond the monetary aspect, there are non-financial benefits that can be valuable in your transition period:

  • Positive References: In today’s competitive job market, a strong reference can be a deciding factor. Our attorneys will seek to negotiate positive references from your employer. 
  • COBRA: Health insurance is more than a benefit; it’s a necessity. In the uncertainty that follows a layoff, continued health coverage through additional months of COBRA provides essential peace of mind.

Experienced Attorneys for Layoffs & RIFs

Understanding the full scope of your contributions and advocating for you is crucial to receiving a fair separation package. The attorneys at Potomac Legal Group address each employment situation as unique and provide the advice and strategies for seeking the outcome you desire. 

We have extensive experience representing financial services and accounting professionals at every stage in their career, including financial advisors, accountants, high-producing salespeople, senior management and C-Level executives.

Facing a layoff or RIF can be a daunting experience, but with the right legal professional by your side, it can be an opportunity to secure your future and recognize your worth. Potomac Legal Group is committed to assisting you during this transition and helping you seek a positive course for your next professional endeavor.

Contact Us Today to Discuss Your Matter