Is it legal for a company to force an employee to sign a form saying the employee gives up all rights to sue the company and that the employee will be terminated if they do not sign it?

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Is it legal for a company to force an employee to sign a form saying the employee gives up all rights to sue the company and that the employee will be terminated if they do not sign it?

Asked on June 20, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Kentucky

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Yes, it is legal, because all employment is employment at will: the company may put any conditions it likes on employment, including giving up the right to sue it, and can refuse to hire (or terminate, if already hired) anyone who does not sign. Such forms have their limits, however: while they can often protect against a lawsuit based on negligence or unintentional wrongdoing, courts tend not to allow them to protect against intentional wrongful acts--you can't make someone give up the right to sue, then deliberately and illegally harm him, as a general matter.


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