interesting thread. one of the reasons why high level execs get paid what they do when they leave is to enforce separation contracts.
for example, if you're a relatively small company (and 150 people is not a large company) in a small industry, even having a few disgruntled employees who are very vocal can negatively impact your company. for example, let's say you were talking about a merger with google only to have google do some background checks on your company and they find that the ex-CFO is saying bad things about you. it could cost the company much more than the ~$35k that they paid him to keep him happy.
OTOH, for most lower level employees, they usually don't have enough of a reputation in the industry for it to really matter.
i've had many of these types of situations happen and every single time i've had to give away a lot of money, the employee did not deserve it. it was simply due to threats that the employee made against the company. the easiest thing is for me is to stick to my principles and say "i don't take kindly to threats. bye." but later on if the ex-employee does cause trouble, i have to answer to our board of directors who can care less about my ego or my principles. in addition, if the employee decides to sue the company (they really can sue for literally anything...."i didn't get my coffee breaks", "i didn't get to go out to lunch enough", etc.), it will cost me a lot more than $35k to fight it.
there are 2 sides to every story...
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