JustAnotherOldGuy writes: In America, it's common practice to make severance pay for laid-off workers contingent on signing a "nondisparagement clause" that prohibits workers from ever speaking ill of their former employers. But as more and more layoffs are precipitated by illegal practices like hiring H1B visa-holders and forcing existing workers to train them as a condition of severance bonuses, workers are growing bolder and refusing to sign gag-clauses — or breaking them and daring their former employers to sue. Marco Peña was among about 150 technology workers who were laid off in April by Abbott Laboratories, but he decided not to sign the agreement that was given to all departing employees, which included a nondisparagement clause. Mr. Peña said his choice cost him at least $10,000 in severance pay. “I just didn’t feel right about signing,” Mr. Peña said. “The clauses were pretty blanket. I felt like they were eroding my rights," he revealed in an expose by the New York Times.