Q: You have been fired. Your employer offers you a severance agreement. The agreement offers you money in exchange for signing a waiver. What should you do?
A: You should understand exactly what it is you are waiving. If possible, have a lawyer review the agreement. Some employers take advantage of their superior bargaining power and insert unfavorable terms in severance agreements. I have seen non-competition, non-solicitation, attorney fee-shifting, and arbitration provisions inserted into severance agreements.
You should protect your interests. Understand what your former employer will say to future employers seeking a reference. Will your former employer give you a positive, or at least, a neutral reference. Will your former employer contest your claim for unemployment benefits?
Lastly, do not leave money on the table. Understand your rights to earned wages under the Maryland Wage Payment and Collection Law.