Can you file for unemployment benefits if you sign a General Release with your employer

release says the payment of severance is in ‘..full settlement and satisfaction for the full released and discharge of all actions, claims, grievances, complaints, administrative claims and demands whatsoever that Employee had or now has or may have against the Company…’ If I sign does it mean I cannot files for unemployment benefits?

Asked on May 5, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, New Jersey


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You may file for unemployment if your job was terminated, other than (that is, not) "for cause" (so not if you violated policies, were insubordinate, stole anything, etc.). So regardless of the release, if you were let go due to personality conflict, subpar performance, a restructuring or financial problems, a manager wanting to bring in his/her own person for your job, etc., you can file for unemployment. You can't get unemployment if you resigned or quit, of if you were fired for cause.

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