The 8 Biggest Severance Pay Package Mistakes

Severance Pay Mistake #1

“There is no law which requires a severance pay”. True, but then why do all companies pay a severance?

There is no law which states that severance pay must be provided, but all companies provide severance pay because the alternative is far worse for them. Keep reading…

Severance Pay Mistake #2

“I’m an at-will employee so I cannot get severance pay”.

At-will employment simply means that you are employed for an unstated duration, not a fixed period of time. It means you can leave at any time, and, your employer can terminate your employment at anytime, but a termination must be for legal reasons and a layoff must be performed legally! Being in an at-will employment state, or having an at-will employment contract, does not mean you cannot obtain severance-pay and a great severance package because you have leverage…

Severance Pay Mistake #3

“I have no leverage to get severance pay and I don’t want to ‘burn bridges’ with my company”.

Whether you were fired for poor performance, laid off, outsourced, or you have resigned, your employing company is fearful of negative publicity, complaints from former employees to board members, the possibility of being sued and the disruptive time and expense of litigation, and anyone speaking ill of the company. Companies want you to go away quietly and stop any possible controversy. All companies expect to negotiate severance packages in exchange for a Separation and Release Agreement, so you will be leaving not only on ‘good terms’, but also on your own terms!

Severance Pay Mistake #4

“My company is bankrupt or is being acquired, so no severance pay”.

Most severance packages are provided when companies have no money, file bankruptcy, or simply cut costs through layoffs. In fact, severance packages provided during these unfortunate events are usually more generous.

Severance Pay Mistake #5

“My severance package is not negotiable and must be signed right away”.

Human Resources and your boss will push you to take the check they’ve already cut and sign a release agreement right away. Don’t do it as no employment situation is ‘take it or leave it’. Tell them you need to think this situation over. They will not, and cannot, withdraw the severance offer-even if you ask for more! In fact, there are federal laws which require them to give you three weeks or up to 60 days to consider the agreement-more than enough time to negotiate a better severance package.

Severance Pay Mistake #6

“I can negotiate a severance package by myself”.

People who do this always underestimate their own value, what their company has in the past provided to others, and, what their company will provide for them in a severance package. In addition, they leave out compensation, benefits and legal protections which can be negotiated and should be included in all severance packages.

Severance Pay Mistake #7

“I can review and understand the legal language within the Separation and Release of Claims Agreement my company wants me to sign in exchange for my severance package.”

All Separation and Release Agreements state that you should consult with an attorney and have the attorney review the release of rights prior to signing it. This is for your protection, as you may not understand or even see the hidden restrictive covenants within the separation/release agreement and within your original employment agreement. An experienced Employment Attorney with a Human Resources background is best qualified to review a separation/release agreement, not your family or business contracts attorney.

Severance Pay Mistake #8

“I will hire an attorney to represent me”.

Severance pay packages are created and implemented by your friendly Human Resources Department. But, if you hire an attorney to represent you to negotiate a severance deal, your friendly HR Department MUST, and will, turn you and your attorney over to its corporate Legal Department and its attorneys. You will have a tough time negotiating a severance as corporate attorneys always take a tough stance against opposing attorneys. Your matter will be legally escalated into a battle of attorneys. And, it’s another story if you launch a lawsuit. The best severance deals come from HR departments.

To avoid these mistakes, you need both legal AND human resources experts on your side to assist you in getting the best severance package!

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Chemical Vs Laser Fat Removal – What is the Difference?

I often see questions online in which it is asked which is better for fat removal….lipodissolve or Smartlipo? On the surface, this is a bit perplexing because they are rather different methods and concepts for selective body contouring of unwanted fat. But given the exposure that both have had from marketing in the past five years, it is actually not surprising that many are confused and uninformed.

The common thread that ties the two together, besides being used to treat fat, is that they are advertised as not being ‘surgery’ and can be done under local anesthesia or in the office. While this is partially true, this superficial perception covers up some more significant differences.

Lipodissolve is an injectable office treatment that relies on a chemical interaction to break down fat cells. To not cause too much inflammation and tissue necrosis, the required amount of chemical solution can not be put in all at once. As a result, a series of injections is needed spaced about 4 to 6 weeks apart. It will usually take at least 3 injection sessions to begin to see an effect. While an injection sounds more kind to one than actual surgery, the reality is that the injected area will swell considerably (double in size) and will remains so for a week. While this chemical approach to fat reduction does have an effect, my Indianapolis plastic surgery experience has shown that it works only for a fairly small area. (about the size of one’s hand)

Conversely, Smartlipo is actual liposuction surgery. It uses a small laser probe to first heat up and melt fat in the treated area. Once the fat is adequately liquefied, it is then suctioned out. Smartlipo is a single treatment method that causes expected amounts of swelling and some bruising. Because it is a single treatment, it is by definition a more efficient fat removal method. Since the laser probe can go anywhere it is anesthetized and can remove as much fat as one is able, it is also a more effective fat treatment method.

Smartlipo and Lipodissolve are apparently frequently confused. But they should not be. Smartlipo is a far more effective and efficient method of surgical fat removal. Lipodissolve, in my practice, is reserved for very small fat collections in which the patient does not want to undergo any form of surgery or for secondary touch-ups after liposuction surgery. Top avoid surgery, you are sacrificing effectiveness and efficiency.

5 Marks of a Great Content Management System

The functionality and appeal of your CMS website rests on your ability to select the best content management system for your needs. There are a lot of big names competing for attention as well as some smaller names that have great promise to become big names. This means lots and lots of choices for those who want to design CMS websites.

To make the selection process a bit easier, consider five tell-tale marks of a great content management system:

#1: You don’t need an IT crew on staff to install the CMS.

Installation is where some of the less effective content management systems fail. If a user cannot figure out how to get the system installed they start to wonder if they will be able to actually use the system once it is installed. The best content management systems will be very easy to install even if the IT guy isn’t down the hallway.

#2: The backend must be very easy to use.

This may be debatable for some people, but in most cases the backend of a CMS website should be incredibly simple to use. Most people using a CMS don’t know HTML code or don’t want to waste time messing with code. This means they are looking for a very simple system that allows them to add to, tweak and change their websites without getting into complicated procedures.

The simpler the backend is, the better suited a CMS will be to those who don’t know how to completely code a website for themselves. This is important if you are designing websites for consumers who don’t know much about web design. The easier the backend is for them to maneuver, the fewer calls of frustration the designer will receive after the product is in the hands of the client.

#3: The CMS should offer templates that are relatively easy to modify.

The great thing about designing a CMS website is the ability to easily modify templates to come out with the perfect website for a given client. You should be able to take a template and make changes so it matches what you want your site to be or what a client wants their site to be. If the modification is too difficult or not possible, then the CMS fails to live up to its main purpose.

#4: A great CMS will allow easy manipulation of extensions to extend the functionality of the CMS website.

If you can’t add extensions, you can’t get the most out of your CMS website. The best content management systems will make it easy to work with extensions so you can create the perfect website with any template.

#5: There should be some form of community or support service where help in the design process can be found.

Finally, make sure the content management system you select has some type of support where you can ask questions and get the opinions of others familiar with the system. This rules out some very small or new content management systems that are still in the developing stages, but it might also rule out some of the bigger guys that don’t necessarily have valuable support communities.

All of these marks identify content management systems that are easy to use. That is essentially the purpose of creating a CMS website. They are just easier to use and much faster to work with than a website designed on basic HTML code.

Billboard Advertising Cost

Putting up billboards as a way of advertising is one reliably inexpensive medium of giving information to the public. In terms of exposure as compared to other media, billboards are visible at all times of the day to thousands of people for as long as the contract stipulates.

Hand painted billboards were originally the style before. Since it was too time consuming and labor intensive, it did not give the advertiser much flexibility. But with the advent of technology, an ad can now be designed on the computer, printed on vinyl or a special paper allowing it to be pasted on the board easily. Poster panels, a standard type of billboard, are ads printed on poster paper and then glued to the frame. Exposure using this material may last up to two months costing less than a thousand dollars. In contrast, the bulletin billboard, where ads are printed on vinyl material may last for a year at a much higher cost. It goes without saying that the more durable the material, and the longer it is exposed, the higher the expense for the company. The use of three dimensional figures along with a short and easy to remember tag line is also a new trend in billboards.

Billboard design can be handled by advertising agencies, sign companies or the billboard companies' in-house design team.

Finding the right place to put up a billboard advertisement is a significant decision. Without one owners the property, a lease agreement with the owner of the lot is drafted. When the property is identified, permits from concerned governing bodies are obtained. To avoid this hassle, most companies prefer to negotiate and rent from an outdoor advertising agency. As experts in this field, signage permits is a part of their usual routine to complete the transaction.

Consider the maintenance of the billboard and its usual wear & tear. One has to contend with zoning laws specifically in big cities that restrict the placement of big size ads. These issues are being handled by the outdoor company. Dealing with them also gives flexibility to the advertiser by rotating the billboards in different locations. On his part, a conscientious advertiser monitors the rotation and placement of the ads as agreed in the contract. There are some of the reasons why it is more cost effective to hire and deal with an expert rather than go at this project alone.

The billboard's message should be catchy, brief and not too detailed for the product or service to be remembered. Bear in mind that usually, billboards are just one of the many avenues employed by a company to advertise its products. But the overall cost is comparable to a one day full page ad in a major newspaper. How the billboards come across to the moving target market and the image it projects are significant concerns of the advertiser. In the end, billboard advertisements may very well serve the purpose.