With the economy struggling, especially in Western Maryland, the Eastern Shore and in Baltimore, corporate managers and executives are increasingly facing lay-offs and firings. In many circumstances, employers want to protect themselves against any possible future lawsuit, so they offer severance agreements to employees in return for a release and a promise not to sue the corporation in the future. While these severance agreements may seem straightforward, it is usually in an employee’s best interest to have an attorney review the proposed agreement, even if only to explain what you are receiving and what you are giving up by signing such an agreement. In addition, such agreements sometimes contain confidentiality and non-compete agreements that may have a significant effect on your future employment. If presented with such an agreement, it is nearly always worth paying an attorney for an hour or two of his or her time to make sure you don’t get bamboozled by your employer.