What You Need To Know Before Signing a Settlement Agreement
A settlement agreement can be a complex legal document that is typically offered to accept the terms of a breached contract or employment termination. I have referred the settlement agreement as complex because of the stress that comes with it as in most instances, it means termination of your source of income so you are likely confused and can barely make your mind regarding the content of the legal document. This has contributed too many people signing a settlement agreement when they are not sure what would mean to put their signature on the dotted line. What is even more concerning is that the settlement agreement is legally binding and once signed is recognized by law. What is unfortunate is that some companies or business people can push you into signing a settlement agreement at your moment of confusion, stressed and indecisiveness where in most situations you are settlement is unfavorable and you may realize this a little too late. This is why you need to have strong knowledge about the settlement agreement because you never know when one will come your way, and when it does you better be informed. You, therefore, need to continue reading this article to know about the settlement agreement.
The first thing you need to know is the settlement agreement is legally binding, once you sign the document it implies that you have agreed to the offer presented to you for settling your unlawful dismissal, discrimination, or harassment at your workplace among other things. The moment you append your signature on the document you also have to honor the agreement otherwise it is a breach of contract which can be prosecuted in a court of law. However, this does not imply that you cannot revert the unreasonable settlement agreement, this can be done by seeking legal advice from attorneys who have specialized in settlement agreement civil cases, they have vast experience in the matter and will probably get your reasonable compensation.
The other important thing you need to do is to seek legal advice. We have seen a settlement agreement mostly bring with them confusion, stress, and anxiety. During such circumstances, your decision-making capacity is compromised unfortunately this is the opportune moment your employer needs you to sign the settlement agreement. You should never shy away to ask for some time with the settlement agreement take it to a solicitor or attorney who specializes in settlement agreement cases let them check the terms and clauses of the contract to ensure your rights are being protected.
You need to be aware settlement agreement terms can be negotiated, you do not have to agree with all the provisions and clauses of the settlement agreement, but if you are a satisfied sign it if not negotiate and ask what you feel you are worth and deserve to be compensated, signing settlement agreement is voluntary and you should never sign it when on duress.
It is important to know in some countries settlement agreement compensation is tax-free up to a particular amount. So unlike a salary, bonuses that are taxable settlement agreements are tax-free in some countries, consult a legal adviser to know whether this is the case in your country. Those are some of the key pointers you need to know about the settlement agreement.