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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Business Law
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Experience:  All corporate law, including non-profits and charitable fraternal organizations.
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If your employment position is eliminated and you sign a severence

Resolved Question:

If your employment position is eliminated and you sign a severence package agreement relinquishing your rights to sue the company. Then,years later they sue you--is your defense minimized by the severence agreement from the standpoint that you cannot countersue?

How many years can a company sue you after leaving it or being eliminated in PA?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 4 years ago.
The standard severance agreement contains only a provision that the employee gives up all rights to sue the employer not the other way around. The reason for this is that the employer is giving the employee "consideration" to which they would not normally be entitled (money) in exchanged for the employee giving something up. To have the employer give up rights to sue when they are already giving the employee money that the employee is not normally entitled to would be giving more consideration than required and it is not done in most all circumstances. The most the employer could go back and sue the employee would be under breach of contract and in PA that is 4 years (unless you have a contract that was written AND under seal then it is 20 years), but normally employers do not go back and sue employees once they release them with a severance unless they sue them for breaching the severance agreement itself and the employee can sue for that as well because they are not waiving that right.


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Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 89512
Experience: All corporate law, including non-profits and charitable fraternal organizations.
Law Educator, Esq. and 7 other Business Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi Paul:

 

The only agreements I signed were non-compete/confidentiality agreements.

 

If the former employer's product were to develop a problem down the road or if they wanted to go digging for a reson to sue to make some money was my only concern.

 

Can an employer sue for anything under the guise of negligence for example? Is it practical? What is their timeframe for such an action?

Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 4 years ago.
So really, all they could sue you over would be if you breach the non-compete/confidentiality agreement. They will not sue you for negligence for something you developed for them, you were working under their authority and they are responsible for your work (I have never seen this happen). But, assuming the worst, they would only have 2 years from the actual act of negligence.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 89512
Experience: All corporate law, including non-profits and charitable fraternal organizations.
Law Educator, Esq. and 7 other Business Law Specialists are ready to help you

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