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

UPDATED: May 5, 2016

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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 6 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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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