If my employer is firing me but won’t give severance and wants me to sign a no sue statement so they won’t fight my unemployment, is this legal?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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If my employer is firing me but won’t give severance and wants me to sign a no sue statement so they won’t fight my unemployment, is this legal?

I wrote an email to my supervisor on 8/7/18 stating that I had issues of minor

sexual discrimination with our new COO and that the amount of work they were now adding to my position was not in my job description. I was told I would now be on call pretty much 24/7 and I have a toddler. They also wanted me to travel locally and I am not able to do so. All complaints were given to our HR department and then instead of working out a game plan with me regarding the hours as I requested they hired my replacement. I have been told that they expect me to work until Thanksgiving training her and I will need to sign a form stating I won’t sue and don’t have a claim against them and in return they will list me as being terminated without cause so that when they try to dispute my unemployment I would win. I feel like I am getting duped by my employer and I need to know if there is some recourse here. I never put my notice in but they keep treating it like I quit. I also have everything via my personal email and have recorded the conversation with my supervisor outlining the form they want me to sign and what I would get in exchange. I am not looking for a payday here but I have toddler to think of and I can’t go without actual income.

Asked on October 25, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

1) If you believe that you were sexually discriminated against and the employer did not address it, you may have a sexual discrimination claim. This would be doubly so if you believe they retaliated against you for bringing the discrimination to their attention. In this event contact the federal EEOC to file a complaint.
2) There is no legal right to severance: it is voluntary for an employer to provide it, and they may freely refuse to offer it.
3) An employer may ask you to give up your right to sue in exchange for some more favorable treatment. You can refuse to sign, and should refuse if you believe you may have a sexual discrimination claim.

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