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Should I sign a severance agreement if I’m pregnant?

Being fired from a job is never a good experience, but when you’re expecting it, it becomes a nightmare. Starting or expanding a family should not be accompanied by financial insecurity.

Being fired while pregnant usually comes as a shock, and companies frequently take advantage of this shock to urge the fired employee into quickly accepting an unfavorable severance deal.

It’s important to note that no legal obligation exists to sign the agreement, even if it’s provided. You should be able to print off a copy of the contract and bring it for review to a Connecticut employment law attorney.

Getting a severance agreement

Anyone who is fired, laid off, or otherwise removed from a working position with the organization may get a severance agreement from their employer. Such an agreement is not necessary to be provided by the employer, and neither is the employee compelled to sign it.

A severance agreement typically provides some form of financial compensation, such as a certain number of weeks of ongoing pay and COBRA coverage for a portion of the time following termination or continued health insurance benefits. There could be various additional terms, from non-competes to specific rules for handling stock options and investments.

A severance agreement’s typical goal is to prevent you from suing the employer in exchange for continued benefits and some assistance as you search for employment or adjust to a new role in your life.

However, some businesses have been known to include terms in their severance agreements. Consider this:

  • Contracts with one-sided rights; you cannot sue them, but they can.
  • The suspension of your stock rights or options, prohibiting you from receiving money or stock that is owed to you.
  • Including a non-compete clause that would make it incredibly difficult for you to obtain work in your sector again.

You will frequently be pressured to sign a severance agreement or risk losing your job. This could be accurate! A federal law does not require an employer to offer you a severance package, nor is there a law that requires them to continue to make an offer to you after a package has been offered.

The only exception is if your employment contract, which you signed when you were hired, stipulates that you are eligible for severance pay. Additionally, you may be entitled to a set period to consider a severance settlement if you are an older worker.

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