(Webcast) Drafting Separation Agreements In Employment Matters

Wednesday, May 5, 2021 | 12:00 pm – 1:45 pm

Program Chair & Panel Leader:
Richard B. Friedman
Richard Friedman PLLC

  • If you are an employment law practitioner or an in-house counsel or advise employers or employees on compensation-related matters, you cannot afford to miss this program.  An expert panel will cover numerous legal issues and challenges that arise when drafting and negotiating separation agreements and will provide practical tips and tools to enhance your drafting and negotiating skills.

    Topics to be addressed include:

    • Nondisclosure provisions pursuant to N.Y. GOL Section 5-336
    • Pros and cons of mandatory arbitration provisions
    • Lump sum versus installment severance payments
    • Treatment of equity
    • Temporal, geographic, and breadth of restrictive covenants
    • Variations of non-disparagement provisions
    • Cooperation provisions
    • Release re-affirmation provisions where appropriate

    Program Fee:
    $199 for Members | $299 for Nonmembers

    Members who are Law Students, Recent Law Graduates, Newly Admitted Lawyers (admitted for the first time in any state or country 2019-2021), In-House/Corporate Counsel, Judges, and attorney members who practice within the Government, Academic or Not-for-Profit sectors attend this program for free.

  • Randi Cohen
    Law Office of Randi M. Cohen

    Jerrold F. Goldberg
    Greenberg Traurig, LLP

    Jyotin “Joe” Hamid
    Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

    Brian Heller
    Schwartz Perry & Heller, LLP

    Anthony A. Mingione
    Blank Rome LLP

    Catherine A. Williams
    Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP

  • 12:00 pm – 12:05 pm
    Introduction of Panelists
    Richard B. Friedman

    12:05 pm – 12:20 pm
    Whether to Offer a Separation Agreement

    • Level of employee
    • Level of risk absent any agreement
    • Importance to the former employer of a release
    • Employment agreement

    Catherine A. Williams

    • Employee handbook
    • Prior Practices

    Jerrold F. Goldberg

    12:20 pm – 12:30 pm
    Overall Approach to Separation Agreements

    • How short?
    • Whether to use plain English or legal jargon
    • Proposed monetary range

    Joe Hamid

    • Do you expect employee to be represented by counsel?
    • Business context of agreement

    Anthony A. Mingione

    12:30 pm – 12:35 pm
    How Separation is Characterized                                                             

    • Resignation
    • Termination without cause
    • Termination with cause

    Catherine A. Williams

    12:35 pm – 1:15 pm
    Frequently Negotiated Provisions

    • Monetary Issues
    • Amounts and timing of payments (including impact of severance payments on unemployment benefits)
    • Lump sum versus installment payments
    • Possible accelerated vesting of options
    • COBRA premium payments
    • PTO and other payments to former employee

    Jerrold F. Goldberg & Brian Heller  

    • Release Issues
    • Scope of release
    • Any release or other relevant provisions in favor of employee?
    • OWBPA releases
    • Release re-affirmation after cessation of employment

    Anthony A. Mingione & Randi M. Cohen

    • Miscellaneous Issues
    • Non-disparagement provisions
    • Cooperation provisions
    • References provision
    • No re-hire provision
    • Agreed upon public statements
    • Rule 409A Issues

    Randi M. Cohen & Catherine A. Williams

    • Tax Treatment for payments characterized for physical injury and emotional harm caused by physical injury
    • Payment of Legal Fees
    • Return of property provision
    • Attestation by employee of no knowledge of other wrongdoing

    Randi M. Cohen & Joe Hamid

    1:15 pm – 1:25 pm
    Confidentiality-related Provisions                                                                

    • New York General Obligations Law Section 5-336
    • Federal Defend Trade Secrets Act language in confidentiality provisions
    • Other types of confidentiality provisions
    • Scope of employer obligations

    Brian Heller &   Catherine A. Williams

    1:25 pm – 1:35 pm
    Restrictive Covenants                                                                                     

    • Possible existing provisions
    • Whether employee should sign an agreement with a restrictive covenant
      • Non-competes are a matter of state law
    • Enforceable if scope of services, geographical area, and temporal periods are
    • More readily enforceable in the context of the sale of a business
    • Non-solicitation of employees and customers are also a matter of state law
    • Enforceable if scope and temporal periods are reasonable
    • Applicability of a merger clause

    Jerrold F. Goldberg & Brian Heller

    1:35 pm – 1:40 pm
    Dispute Resolution Provisions Including Arbitration Obligations

    • Pros and cons of mandatory arbitration provisions
    • Mechanics of an arbitration provision (forum, rules, number of arbitrators, fee shifting, etc.) but rarely negotiable
    • Carve outs for injunctive relief
    • Forum selection clause

    Joe Hamid

    1:40 pm – 1:45 pm
    Remedies Provisions                                                                                         

    • Liquidated Damages
    • Clawback provision for material breach
    • Whether Employee Can Retain A Modest Amount Despite Clawback to Provide Considerations for Release of ADEA Claims
    • What Tribunal Will Make the Determination?

    Anthony A. Mingione

    Separation Agreements in the Context Of Collective Bargaining Agreements
    Jerrold F. Goldberg

  • New York: 2.0 Skills
    New Jersey: 2.1 General
    California: 2.0 General
    Pennsylvania: 1.5 General
    Connecticut: Available to Licensed Attorneys

  • Sponsoring Association Committee:
    Labor & Employment Law
    , Katherine A. Greenberg, Chair

    Sponsorship Opportunities are Available! Please Contact:
    Angie Avila, Manager, Membership Outreach and Sponsorships | (212) 382-6608 | aavila@nycbar.org