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Severance Agreements-Have you just been asked to sign one?

December 6, 2017

Has your employer recently asked you to sign a Severance Agreement?  The Agreement no doubt states that you have been advised to seek counsel to review the agreement and that you have had adequate time to do so.  You should follow that suggestion and consult an attorney on the issue.  Many times an employer will ask an employee to sign such Agreement because it realizes the employee has a valid potential employment law claim.  And, most Agreements of this nature contain a provision wherein the employee agrees to release the employer (or not bring an action against the employer) from any potential claim the employee may have against the employer.

Furthermore, many of these Agreements contain provisions limiting an employee’s ability to perform similar work for competitors, solicit other employees to work with the employee at a subsequent place of employment, or current customers or clients of the employer.  Accordingly, if you have been asked to sign a Severance Agreement, consult with counsel to determine whether you have a potential cause of action against that employer that you would be prevented from bringing if you sign the Agreement.  And further, whether signing such Agreement would severely limit your ability to find future employment in your field.