Do you have to sign termination papers?

by Evil HR Lady on April 23, 2012

Dear Evil HR Lady,
I am being terminated from my job this week and my boss would like me to sign papers. I don’t want to sign anything.

Do I have to sign them?

To read the answer click here: Do you have to sign termination papers?

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Doug S April 24, 2012 at 10:26 pm

Excellent advice, Suzanne. And the three types are exactly the range of actions taken in various severance situations. Lawyers, of course, give slightly opposite advice as they are seemingly always up for a fight (and a big retainer to those who can least afford one). Always case by case, but unless someone was obviously wronged in a dismissal – your article says it all.

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Evil HR Lady April 25, 2012 at 3:55 pm

True! The lawyers are more antagonistic. Donna Ballman (Screw You Guys I’m Going Home is her blog) says you shouldn’t sign termination papers because there is nothing in it for you.

I say good will means a lot. Lots of things fade over time but pitching a fit about not signing a paper will be the biggest thing in your former manager’s memory.

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LTMG April 25, 2012 at 6:42 pm

Once had some termination papers to sign that included a non-disparagement clause, i.e. I would promise to not say anything against the company. Imagine the consternation when I said that the clause was acceptable to me if it was bilateral!

The company is a great company with a tremendous history and range of excellent products. On the other hand, certain executives and employees are among the most venal and unprincipled people I have ever encountered. 75% of my battles while working at that company were with colleagues who were supposed to be supporting me instead of sneakily stabbing me and others at my site in the back. There were some truly outstanding employees, including my boss who is to this day a completely upstanding and moral person.

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Elizabeth West May 2, 2012 at 6:04 am

I had to sign them too. Mostly they were about how I wasn’t being laid off on grounds of age, and they listed my age and the age of the other layoff also, and those of all retained employees. It also contained a clause pertaining to non-disclosure of sensitive company information, as it was a manufacturer that did have proprietary processes. But as merely the front desk, I didn’t have any access to or knowledge of that information. I couldn’t tell you anything that wasn’t on the website.

They did give me a six week severance, which was nice of them. It helped. I wish unemployment was the same amount. :P

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Elizabeth West May 2, 2012 at 6:05 am

Oh, and I was mad all right, but I stayed calm. I was pretty proud of myself.

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