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Should I sign? Michigan

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  • Should I sign? Michigan

    Should I sign the severance package with non compete agreement?

    I was just laid off by a big company in Michigan. I noticed the non-disclosure and non-compete agreements at the end of my severance package. It seems like if I don't sign, I won't get the money for 2wks for every year I put in service + the unused vacation for the year (of lay off) & 18 months of medical insurance. In fact, before I joined the company 8 years ago, I have signed the non disclosure and non compete agreements. I'm wondering why those agreements are included in the severance package? Does that mean the previous agreements I signed are void because I was laid off? Is there a way not sign the severance package, but still receive the compensation? I worry if I sign, it will put a limit on my job searching. My techniques are very narrow and only can be applied to the same field, so I worry it will be really hard for me to find a "non compete" job. Or, maybe it does not matter if I sign or not, because I signed those documents 8 years ago anyway. Thank you very much for your kind answers in advance!

  • #2
    You might want to have the agreements reviewed by an attorney in your area.
    Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

    Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.


    • #3
      I'm going to go stronger and say no one here can tell you anything about the validity of any contract you may have signed or might sign. You need a lawyer to review these and give you the legal angle. Then you can decide for yourself whether it is a good idea to sign or not. These kinds of documents vary in their enforceabilty and every single one is going to depend on exact wording.
      I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.


      • #4
        Agreed. Past that:
        - Employers almost never have to give severance agreements. You generally speaking do not have to sign NDA/NCA, but they are not required (generally speaking) to give you severance payments.
        - NDAs tend to be legal in all states. NCAs, not so much. This is very state specific, very specific to the exact wording of the agreement and very much as stated "talk to a local attorney who will have to actually read the agreement" territory.
        - If the exact wording of the NCA agreement is not legal in your state, tying it to a severance agreement will likely not make it legal. Some NCAs are legal and some are not. Different states have very different views on just what is legal in an NCA. This is is not DIY stuff.
        - NDAs have a whole different set of case law. I am not saying that there has never been an illegal NDA, but it is vastly more likely that a NDA will be considered legal under state law.
        "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
        Philip K. **** (1928-1982)


        • #5
          thanks for your help

          I will sign the severance contract because of this most important reason:

          I have signed the similar NDA/NCA years ago and from the infomation I received, those documents are still valid, so there will be no difference if I sign another one or not.

          However, if I don't sign, I will get nothing, but the NDA/NCA I have signed are still valid since it does not mention its validity regarding to how I lose my job.

          I hope I make the right decision.


          • #6
            Just be sure to abide by the terms of the agreement. Before going to work for a competitor, have a lawyer review the document.
            I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.