When your employer terminates your employment, you may qualify for a generous severance package. Before accepting any severance agreement, however, you must make sure that the arrangement serves your best interests as you decide on your next move.

These are the factors to consider when negotiating severance with your employer.

Length of severance

Often, a severance package covers salary and benefits for a specified time period after termination. The industry standard for executive-level employees is six to 12 months according to Forbes, an estimate you can adjust based on your employment level. You can also find out what the company has offered other employees on your level.

Performance history

If you have a history of positive performance reviews and accolades from your managers, colleagues and clients, you can use your service to the company as leverage to ask for more money. Conversely, if you have been subject to corrective action in the past, that history could influence the amount of your severance package. If your company has limited performance data available, gather evidence to build your own cause for an exceptional employee tenure.

Federal law

Your employer may have to follow certain laws about severance. If you are age 40 or older, you must receive 21 days to review an offered severance package under the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act. If your job loss occurs because of a mass layoff or location closure, you must receive at least 60 days’ notice according to the Worker Adjustment and Training Notification Act of 1988.

These are just a few of the many factors that may influence this complex negotiation. You have the right to attorney representation when you negotiate a severance package.