If you’re considering terminating your relationship with an Illinois employee, an employment separation agreement can set terms and make the process easier. Illinois employment separation agreements are enacted between employers and their soon-to-be former Illinois employees. They protect organizations from liability, while providing the employee with certain key benefits.

When you use an Illinois or Chicago employment separation agreement, it must comply with all local, state, and federal laws. It’s important to do the research and draft your separation agreements accordingly. Unfortunately, that can be time consuming and expensive—but SixFifty’s employment document solutions can help you create compliant, customized employment separation documents in every state.

What is an IL employment separation agreement?

Illinois employment separation agreements are used to set terms when an employee’s job ends. Instead of quitting or being fired, which are one-sided decisions, separation agreements can create a mutually beneficial agreement to terminate employment. Both employer and employee receive benefits, and are entitled to negotiate for better terms.

Chicago and Illinois employers can use employment separation agreements to protect themselves from some types of liability. They may ask employees to waive their right to pursue claims against the company, for example, in exchange for a fair severance package.

Neither Illinois nor Chicago mandate separation agreements: employers are not required to offer them, and employees are not required to sign anything offered. However, as long as the agreement complies with all applicable state and federal employment or contract laws, it should be enforceable.

It’s important to note that in addition to state law, you need to pay attention to federal guidance. For example, the NLRB recently restricted the use of non-disparagement and confidentiality clauses in severance agreements. Furthermore, employers can only use non-compete provisions in severance agreements against employees who were terminated for cause.

Be specific about the claims being waived

When creating an Illinois employment separation agreement, the employer must explicitly include the claims an employee is waiving. This includes claims under the following:

  • Illinois Employee Credit Privacy Act
  • Illinois Human Rights Act
  • Job Opportunities for Qualified Applicants Act
  • Medical Examination of Employees Act
  • Right to Privacy in the Workplace Act
  • Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act
  • Illinois Freedom to Work Act
  • Illinois Equal Pay Act
  • Illinois Equal Wage Act
  • Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act
  • Illinois Secure Choice Savings Program Act
  • Illinois Service Member Employment and Reemployment Rights Act
  • Victims’ Economic Security and Safety Act
  • Employee Blood Donation Leave Act
  • Volunteer Emergency Worker Job Protection Act
  • Child Bereavement Leave Act
  • One Day Rest in Seven Act
  • Illinois School Visitation Rights Act
  • Illinois Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act
  • Illinois Personnel Records Review Act

Remember, the only claims that can be waived are those which have arisen prior to the date of the agreement—not those after the agreement is signed.

Benefits of using an Illinois employment release agreement

Employment separation agreements can offer a few different benefits. First, employers primarily use employment separation to limit their liability. They can also include other agreements, such as confidentiality provisions, to protect proprietary company information.

Employees typically receive severance packages upon signing an agreement as consideration for waiving their rights to sue. This is often financial compensation, but may also include extended healthcare, a neutral reference agreement, and other benefits. The benefits are consideration, or compensation, which is required to ensure that a contract is enforceable.

Finally, separation agreements help the employer and employee amicably part ways. Instead of quitting or being abruptly terminated, both parties can negotiate terms and decide on a mutually agreeable employment end date.

Employment termination agreement sample

This sample of an Illinois employment separation agreement is provided by the Securities and Exchange Commission. It’s a good example of what an employment separation agreement might look like, although the terms, laws, and employment information must be individually tailored for each party.

How to create an IL employment separation agreement

If you need to draft an Illinois or Chicago employment separation agreement, you have a few options. First, you can research and draft your own agreement. That can be time-consuming and may not cover all the important state-specific provisions. Online templates present similar issues. They may not be compliant with current state and federal law, which can leave your business open to significant liability.

You can also hire an attorney to draft an agreement—but that’s expensive, as well as time-consuming. Instead of racking up billable hours or doing your own legal research, let SixFifty help.

Our Employment Docs platform is designed to guide employers through every stage of the employment lifecycle, from hiring to separation. You can generate customized Illinois employment separation agreements in a fraction of the time and cost. Plus, our legal team keeps a close eye on employment legislation nationwide. Whenever you generate an employment separation agreement or other employment document, it’ll be current with all state and federal laws.

Ready to learn more? Schedule a demo today!