Can an employer make you waive your rights to unemployment?

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Can an employer make you waive your rights to unemployment?

My employer terminated me and stated he would not pay unemployment. Yet he expected me to sign an agreement stating that I resigned voluntarily and in exchange for which he would pay me 3 weeks salary. Should I file for unemployment? And if I do, do I stand a chance of receiving it?

Asked on March 24, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Michigan

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You need to speak with an employment attorney as soon as you can. Your employer can not pick and choose to pay unemployment and what he did was illegal.  He coerced you by indicating that he would not pay you unemployment benefits if you were entitled to them (remember: you must be fired through no fault of your own and not for cause: i.e., stealing, etc.). Yes, he could fight your unemployment but that does not mean that you are not entitled to it.  The agreement needs to be set aside as executed under duress.  Seek legal hellp before you file.  You may need counsel for that as well.  Good luck.


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