If you’re planning to terminate your relationship with a Florida employee, a Florida employment separation agreement can be helpful. Separation agreements act as a contract between an employer and soon-to-be former employee. This helps protect the employer from liability, and can include benefits for the employee like severance pay, neutral references, and more.

When you plan to use a separation agreement for a Florida employee, it’s important that it complies with all state and federal laws, even if your company is headquartered in another state. SixFifty’s employment document tools can help minimize risk and ensure compliance.

What is a Florida employment separation agreement?

Employers and employees can voluntarily agree to enter into a separation agreement. They’re often used to create legally enforceable obligations between employer and employee, and can be negotiated before they’re signed.

An employer might use a separation agreement when they’d like a separating employee to agree to specific terms, such as non-disclosure, non-disparagement, or non-compete clauses. They can also include waivers to release the company from future claims.

However, when you ask an employee to waive certain rights or refrain from certain actions, like pursuing legal claims or working with a competitor, you’ll need to include valuable consideration in order to make the contract enforceable. Employers often offer significant severance packages and other bonuses in exchange for an agreement.

In addition to Florida state laws, employers who want to execute severance agreements with their employees should make sure that they comply with federal laws, such as the NLRB’s recent decision regarding restrictions in non-disparagement and confidentiality provisions. Should a claims release be part of the agreement, you must explicitly list the claims the employee is releasing. In Florida, employees may waive claims stemming from Florida’s Civil Rights Act and minimum wage laws, as long as those claims arose prior to the date of the agreement.

Benefits of using a FL employment release agreement

Separation agreements typically protect an employer, especially when waiving potential employment-related claims against the company. You may request that the employee waive their right to bring state and federal claims against the company, or that they sign a non-disclosure agreement to protect your proprietary and confidential company information. Many employment separation agreements include non-compete and non-disparagement clauses, although you’ll need to make sure any provisions you include do not violate recent changes to federal law.

Of course, because separation agreements are legally enforceable contracts, employees should receive valuable consideration for their contributions. Typically, this includes a severance payment, among other benefits. For instance, they may ask for extended healthcare coverage, a mutual non-disparagement clause, neutral references, and more. Not only does this meet legal requirements for a valid contract, but it helps them ease the transition between one job to the next.

Finally, separation agreements make it easier to part on amicable terms. It’s less abrupt than suddenly firing an employee, and helps you set expectations for their remaining time at the company.

Employment termination agreement sample

There are plenty of employment separation agreement examples on the internet, including this sample agreement from Liquidmetal Technologies, Inc. Note the specificity of releasing claims under the Florida Civil Rights Act, among other useful provisions. This agreement includes provisions for a monthly severance payment, as well as healthcare and a lump sum payment for unused vacation time.

Because this agreement was executed in 2004, employment laws have changed in the meantime. While Florida state law has remained largely unchanged, federal employment law has undergone some significant shifts in the intervening years.

How to create a FL employment separation agreement

Creating your own Florida employment separation agreement can be time-consuming and expensive. The sample agreement above is not just a useful example of Florida severance agreements, but it’s also an example of why you can’t rely on online templates or copy-and-pasting separation agreements. There’s no guarantee they are legally enforceable under today’s standards, which can expose your organization to significant risk. While you can always hire an attorney or research the laws yourself, that’s not always the easiest or most cost-effective solution.

SixFifty’s Employment Agreements platform allows you to generate top-tier Florida employment separation agreements which comply with the latest state and federal employment laws. It’s cost-effective and quick—and our legal team keeps an eye on changes to employment legislation nationwide. Whenever you generate an employment separation agreement with us, you know it will be current and compliant, no matter how the law might change.

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