When your employer tells you that you have lost your job, it can be hard to know what you should and should not do.
When employers plan to fire someone, they prepare everything in advance with the human resource department’s help. They want to ensure a neat ending without drama. You, however, might be in a state of shock at the news they are terminating you. You might be unsure how you feel.
When your employer presents you with a severance agreement to sign, it can add to your confusion. Should you sign it? Do you have to sign it? Or should you refuse?
Do not be rushed into signing a severance agreement
You should not sign a severance agreement straight away. Allow yourself time to think about it. Here are some things to consider:
- What do you stand to gain by signing? If an employer wants you to sign, they need to compensate you in some way. Often called a severance package. If there is no benefit to you, the agreement may not be valid.
- What rights do you agree to give up? Employers use separation agreements to ensure you do not turn around and sue them for wrongful dismissal or some other issue. If you have outstanding matters with your employer related to employment law, be sure you are happy to leave them unresolved. Or make sure the package they offer addresses them in some way.
If your employer presents you with a severance agreement to sign, tell them you will take it away and have your attorney review it. Do not bow to pressure to sign there and then. Signing is an option, not an obligation.