If after working for about 2 years for a company I was offered a separation agreement and release, do I have to sign the document or is it better to show it to an attorney?

The excuse for my having to leave was that my position was terminated. The severance package was 4 weeks of my yearly salary.

Asked on October 19, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

You write that the "excuse for my having to leave was that my position was terminated"--by that, do you mean that you think you were fired improperly? Bear in mind that unless you had a written employment contract which was violated, you were an employee at will and could be terminated at any time, for any reason which was not specificlally illegal discrimination, like discrimination against you due to your race, sex, religion, age over 40, or disability. Otherwise, if illegal discrimination was not involved, it is almost certain that your termination was legal, even if you don't  believe the ostensible reason.
As to the SRA it is always recommended that you have an attorney review legal documents before signing, when practical. Here, the main issue is economic as a rough guide, assume an attorney will charge $300 - $500 for reviewing the separation and release agreement and the situation and discussing it with you. How does that compare to the amount of money you stand to get? Can you comfortably afford the lawyer? If so, have one review the agreement if not, read it carefully yourself.


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