Steven Swirsky, a Member of the Firm in the Labor and Employment and Health Care and Life Sciences practices, in the New York office, was quoted in an article titled "You're Fired (Part 2—The Five Things You Must Do Right Away)."

Following is an excerpt:

You know something is fishy when your boss invites the guy from H.R. to join in the meeting. They nod as you enter the room; then the H.R. guy gets up and shuts the door.

Yup—you are getting fired. You feel sick to your stomach. Now what?

Chances are you're in shock. So take a deep breath and take note of the following when you are in that unpleasant, awkward situation. ?...

Don't sign anything too soon.

Though some employers have papers ready for the employee to sign, it's a bad practice, says management lawyer Steven Swirsky: "The employee is in shock, and can argue that it wasn't informed consent."

What's more, says Swirsky, employees over the age of 40 are protected by the Older Worker Benefit Protection Act amendments, which "require that the terminating employee be advised of his right to consult with an attorney and be given a minimum of 21 days to consider the agreement and release."

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