If you have been terminated from your job and your employer offers you a settlement agreement, it can be tempting to immediately sign the document. Becoming suddenly unemployed can make a settlement agreement very enticing.
Here are three reasons why you should not sign a settlement agreement before an experienced attorney reviews it.
- You could be signing away your rights. Employers will often slip clauses into settlement agreements in which you agree to never sue the company in the future. You could lose your right to sue for discrimination, civil rights violations and more by signing the document. You could lose the right to any future claims against the company if you sign the document without having in thoroughly reviewed.
- You could be losing retirement benefits. You could lose your rights to employer contributions to a pension if it is not negotiated properly in the settlement agreement, especially if you are not yet vested. Sometimes companies will fire employees specifically to prevent them from vesting, which is grounds for a lawsuit in itself.
- You could lose future employment. Your employer might include a non-compete clause in the settlement agreement. This would prevent you from finding a job with a competitor or even in the same field, potentially for years to come.
If you have been terminated and your employer offers you a settlement agreement, you have the right under federal employment laws to have an attorney review the deal.