Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX I look forward to assisting you today. I bring nearly 20 years of experience in various legal disciplines.
If you accept the severance and the severance has a release of claims in it, then yes the severance would keep you from bringing any sort of claim based on your termination
So, you have to ask if your complaint to the hot line was one that would allow for a larger claim of retaliation. Now, there are many forms of retaliation, but very few of them are actually illegal for purposes of employment law
If your complaint to the hot line involved discrimination
against you based on your race, religion, gender, age, disability or FMLA
use, then you would have a clear and statutorily based claim of retaliation with the EEOC
(or Department of Labor
for FMLA). That could prove more valuable than the severance.
If your complaint to the hot line did not involve one of those forms of discrimination, then it was a complaint that was protected by statute. Instead, the only protection from retaliation you would have would be the wording of the company policy on the use of their hot line. Such claims are very difficult to establish and rarely are financially valuable, which is why most attorneys refuse to bring them, or if they do, they want to be paid by the hour rather than accepting a contingency fee arrangement (where they only get paid based on what they win).