Wouldn’t it be great if there were a document that outlined issues that both employers and employees could think about when trying to settle employment law disputes?

Turns out there is. You just need to know where to look.

At the risk of giving up one of my "secret resources", one of my favorites is a document prepared a few years ago by Attorney Robert B. Fitzpatrick, an attorney in the Washington, D.C. area.  His checklist on the "Settlement of Employment Law Disputes" is an easy to read summary of the key provisions that parties can consider as they settlement claims.

It covers almost everything that you could think of: from the ordinary (Withdrawal of EEOC Charges or OWBPA compliance) to the more obscure (Partnership Interests). 

The checklist that he has posted online is several years old so it should not be used exclusively.  There have been some recent developments in recent years that it doesn’t include (such as the Section 409A rules on executive compensation agreements) but it is an excellent place to start.

While separation and settlement agreements have become common over the last decade, there is still room for flexibility and creativity to meet your company’s specific needs. Take a look at the checklist and perhaps there will be something new or interesting that you can incorporate into your form agreements.