In the event you lose your job to a layoff or termination, your employer might offer you a severance agreement that provides you severance pay and other benefits. However, in return, you would give up the right to sue your employer, which you might not want if you feel your employer has wronged you in some way.
This tradeoff is why you should have the appropriate time to review the offer. No employer should rush you into signing a severance agreement.
Giving you an oral agreement
As Chron explains, your employer might not even present you with a written agreement at all. Some employers offer a severance agreement with a handshake and a spoken promise. Your employer may come off convincing and sincere enough that you accept on the spot.
Accepting an agreement verbally could open up all sorts of ways your workplace might not keep its promises, especially if there are no witnesses to the discussions. Having a written document can clearly establish the obligations and responsibilities of all parties involved, plus it is more likely that a court will enforce it.
Giving you a review period
If your employer does hand you a written severance agreement, be sure that it comes with a set time period to review the agreement. This protects you from your employer suddenly withdrawing the offer before you can fully consider it. It also makes it clear that you have the necessary time to go over the agreement’s legal provisions.
If you feel pressure to sign the document on that day or sometimes too soon for you to review it, your workplace may be showing signs that it fears litigation from you. Consider asking for copies of the employee handbook or other employment documents that discuss your rights so you may verify your workplace is not defrauding you.