Can I hold a company accountable for stating an incorrect amount to be paid on a General Release?

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Can I hold a company accountable for stating an incorrect amount to be paid on a General Release?

I just got let go from a company n Ohio for which I worked for 5 years and the gave
me a General Release Severance package that states they will pay 9795.65 the
cash equivalent of 5 weeks pay. Well that is more than I make in 5 weeks, but is
what I make for 5 biweekly pay checks. When I was released and given the form it
has already been signed by the HR manager. Today they called me and said it was
a mistake and that it would only be 4897.83 and that they will email me another
form. Can I hold them accountable to pay the original amount of 9795.65?

Asked on October 6, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

It depends on what the severance agreement actually says. If it does not reference the number of weeks of pay, but simply said that you would be paid $9,795.65, then that is the amount agreed to and which they must pay. If they will not, you could sue them for breach of contract for the difference.
If the agreement said however that the severance you were receiving was the cash equivalent of 5 weeks pay, the law does not enforce mathematical or typographic, etc. mistakes; since in this case, it is clear that they meant to pay you a lesser amount (equal to 5 weeks pay) and the amount they should have paid can be readily calculated, they fact that they accidentally wrote down double the amount will not be enforced against them and they only have to pay you the 5 weeks equivalent.


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