Career Calling

November 12, 2014

Don’t Sign Away Your Rights


A client recently told me a story that I needed to share. She works for a company with multiple locations in the Chicago area. Her location is closing. The company gave all employees at that location a letter with two options: I will consider a new position with the company, or I will voluntarily sever relations with the company. My client was thinking about leaving the company anyway, but a friend in HR warned her that saying she was voluntarily leaving the company would prevent her from getting unemployment. If an employee applies for unemployment, the company would use this letter to say the employee was not laid off.

If your company is closing, beware of signing anything that would prevent you from receiving unemployment benefits. Similarly, if your company offers any kind of compensation related to a layoff or termination, read the agreement carefully. These agreements often limit your ability to take action against the employer. Some may also say that you agree not to file for unemployment. We are often angry or confused when we are laid off or fired. Be careful about letting your emotions lead you down the wrong road. Read carefully before you sign anything.


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