Seek legal advice first.
When terminating an employee’s employment, it is common for an employer to request that the employee sign a release of some kind. This will generally be presented to the employee at the time of termination after the employer has reviewed the terms of the termination. It is important that employees understand that they are not required to sign any documentation at that moment. They are permitted to take the time to review the terms being offered and sign the release at a later time. From the employee’s perspective, taking this time is encouraged.
However, if you have already signed a release, all hope is not lost. An experienced employment lawyer can review your circumstances and make you aware of your options. If you are presented with a termination package and a release, it is strongly advised that you have an experienced employment lawyer thoroughly review all documentation and advise on how you should proceed. Signing the release means that you are giving up certain rights (such as the ability to bring a lawsuit against your employer) in exchange for certain benefits (such as termination pay or an extended benefits period). Before signing any documentation, it is important to be sure that you are receiving everything to which you are entitled.