Q. We need to change our severance policy, mostly due to declining business conditions. Can we reduce the severance amounts cited in employment agreements with certain staff as long as we notify them of the change? —J.C., Illinois
A. Not so fast. You could be setting yourself up for a breach-of-contract lawsuit. Unless your employment agreements specifically say that you can unilaterally reduce severance pay, you're almost certainly legally bound by all the terms in the pacts, including those relating to severance pay. Before you act, an experienced employment attorney should review your agreements.
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