If you are wrongfully terminated andyour employer makes you sign a form waiving lawsuit rights in order to receive a severance package, is that legal?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

If you are wrongfully terminated andyour employer makes you sign a form waiving lawsuit rights in order to receive a severance package, is that legal?

A previous employer terminated me for not meeting standards, which I dispute. Upon termination, they presented me with a form stating that if I don’t sign the form, I would be able to pursue legal action, but would not receive a severance package. If I signed the form, I would receive the severance package but would not be able to pursue legal action. I’m just curious if there is any grounds for legal action due to the fact that this company has a history of terminating associates in large numbers, quite frequently.

Asked on December 5, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

It is perfectly legal to offer an employee severance or other payment in exchange for signing a release, giving up the right to sue...and not only is it legal, it is quite common. A company would typically not offer severance unless by so doing, it could insulate itself from liability; otherwise, it would pay the employee money which it was not required to, while leaving itself open to a lawsuit for more, something which is hardly in its interest. Before signing, consult with an employment attorney about your situation--you can see whether you would have a case for wrongful termination or not, what it might be worth, and what  it might cost to pursue it, so you can make an informed decision as to whether to sign or not. Good luck.


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 AttorneyPages.com 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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption