Separation & Release Agreements

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We prepare state-of-the art separation agreements to help you avoid litigation and mitigate potential risks of employee terminations.

Employers use separation agreements to outline the terms of termination between an employer and terminated employee, whether the employee was fired or laid off. A comprehensive, valid, and enforceable agreement is an effective way to protect an organization from employee claims of wrongful termination or for additional severance pay. It can also help ensure your proprietary information and competitive interests remain protected.


Our team works closely with clients to craft appropriate separation agreements for their particular situations. We give due consideration to the competing needs of quickly “closing the deal” and protecting the company against overcompensating non-productive or culturally mismatched employees. With executives and other non-exempt employees, we can add or revise restrictive covenants to the maximum extent allowed by law and the client’s wishes. We are also familiar with executive compensation issues under bonus plans or agreements, equity plans, unit awards and options agreements. Some separation agreements involve few, if any, of these subjects, whereas others involve all or most. We know which is which, and how to handle them in relation to each other and a client’s best interests.

Drawing upon our strengths in employment law, we draft concise documents that not only clearly reflect the parties’ economic agreement but also contain contractual remedies for breach and claw-backs for misconduct.

We have extensive experience representing management in end-of-employment matters, including individual terminations, lay-offs, and reductions in force, and have worked with clients in connection with every possible variation and nuance relating to separation agreements. Our attorneys have represented companies in nearly every industry including, but not limited to, business services, retail trade, financial services, health care, energy and utilities, consumer goods, transportation, communications and technology.


Seyfarth’s Workplace Counseling & Solutions attorneys have a long history of providing clients with practical advice and proactive strategies designed to ensure compliance with the law and manage litigation risk. As a national firm, our counselors have in-depth knowledge of laws across all states, and are able to mobilize teams of attorneys to address issues facing employers with multi-state or multinational operations. Seyfarth leverages specific industry knowledge to provide clients with practical advice and proactive strategies oriented to reducing legal exposure. Our attorneys pioneered the concept of an employment practices assessment. We also conduct multi-state surveys concerning various aspects of employment law impacted by state law. State law changes impact separation agreements now more than ever, with numerous states enacting or considering #MeToo limits on non-disclosure provisions, limiting restrictive covenants and choice-of-law provisions. These changes require attorneys who not only know the law, but also keep abreast of new laws and are on the lookout for laws on the way.