Can my employer terminate my employment if I do not sign an Employment Release of Claims form?

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Can my employer terminate my employment if I do not sign an Employment Release of Claims form?

My employer handed out an Employee Release of Claims form to all the current employees, including myself. The form states that I waive any right to claims or demands in law or in equity relating in any way arising out of my employment or business relationship with my current Company or the owner of the Company, which I ever had, now have or ever will have from the beginning of the world to the date of this release. Yesterday, I was threatened to be fired by my supervisor that if I do not sign the Release of Claims form. This morning the owner sent me an email telling me to take the morning off from the office and to meet him back at the office at noon. Is it legal for him to fire me if I do not sign the form?

Asked on October 1, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

Yes, it is: employers may, as a condition of and in "consideration" for continued employment require employees to waive or give up rights. However, certain rights you will still have, even if you sign this agreement: the law overrides private contracts or agreements, so you cannot give up your rights to file discrimination complaints (e.g. if discriminated against due to your race, sex, religion, color, national origin, age 40 or over, or disability), your right to overtime (if otherwise overtime eligible), to use FMLA leave (if otherwise eligible), or to Worker's Compensation (if otherwise eligible), since the law guarantees those rights. Even signing the agreement will not take them away.


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