Why is There a Seven Day Revocation Period in My Severance Agreement?
The Purpose and Practical Effect of a Revocation Period in Your Severance Agreement
You may see reference in your agreement to a seven day period in which you can revoke your acceptance, or change your mind. Usually the agreement states that the "effective date" of the agreement is 8 days following your signature, to account for this revocation period.
What is that all about? For a release of claims to be valid under the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act ("ADEA"), the employer is required to give you seven days to change your mind after signing. This is meant to protect employees from being pressured into releasing their claims.
Usually, even if you are not over 40, and even if the potential claims have nothing to do with age, employers will include this language because it is part of their standard release package.
If you have not had time to consult an attorney before your deadline for acceptance, you can sign the agreement and use the seven days to negotiate. This is not a strong negotiating position, however, and seven days is actually not that much time for lawyers to communicate with each other and reach agreement. It is a much better idea to seek legal advice as soon as you know you have a severance offer to consider.
Learn more here about evaluating a severance agreement.
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