How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Joseph Your Own Question
Joseph, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 5299
Experience:  Extensive experience representing employees and management
Type Your California Employment Law Question Here...
Joseph is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I am a mathematics teacher that was just laid off....I found

Customer Question

I am a mathematics teacher that was just laid off....I found out at the end of Friday December which time I was showed a separation and general release agreement that if I signed I would receive $4,242 separation pay. In this release/separation form there were many erroneous statement/falsehoods such as that I had legal representation present and assisted in the drawing up of said document,(not true) also then stated that I was not coerced,(but in losing my job and their utilizing this fiscal offer then this was a way of trying toi manipulate me into signing this document. This document was basically shoved in my face as I was told to pack up my things! I refused to sign as I didn't have representation nor time to seriously look it over. They also mailed it again to me the following week. Can I still try to go after the funds offered w/o signing a document that is a bogus lie. These funds I believe may also represent sick days and vacation.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Joseph replied 5 years ago.
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer.

You are entitled to all accrued sick days and vacation days when you leave your job regardless of whether or not you sign the agreement.

If you aren't entitled to that full amount, you can still request that you receive the additional amount for separation pay even if you aren't willing to sign the document.

However, your employer would most likely want you to sign the agreement to give you the additional amount of separation pay.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I want to know how they can legally ask me to sign a document full of lies and errors, how can this be legal...especially when they say this offer is for monies that I am partially enttitlled to.....if I sign then I am dishonest as them...and that does feel like coercion or briging me with money,(they know I am on Bitsa program toi have some of my student loans repaid, and the principal also knows that I was experiencing some sexual harrassment by a few of the high school student,(one I had to suspend). The school iseems very concerned regards me talking w someone about those experiences. Since they are a charter school they can give severance w/o notice and they let go of many teachers, one on the same day as e, right before the holidays. The prinicple did not even return my $10. donation for the Christmas party at his home,(all the other teachers were gone to his house besides me and the other teacher that got fired that day. I was willing to leave with my severence pay with their excuse for my termination as downsizing...but this document they put in my face minutes before as I was clearing out my desk was so wrong. It is not only unethical but a downright bribe!
Expert:  Joseph replied 5 years ago.
They can request that you sign the document, but you are within your rights to refuse to sign the document, especially since its contains lies.

You are entitled to vacation and sick day pay regardless of whether you sign the agreement or not, and if they refuse to pay you for your sick day and vacation pay you can file a claim against them with the Department of Industrial Relations.

You can file a claim using the forms available here:
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Can you please explain to me why they are not liable for presenting a document for me to sign with a monetary offer that could only be accepted if I were to lie....isn't that bribery?
Is there no law that requires companies to adhere to certain business practice...or can any company illicit employees to be dishonest?
Expert:  Joseph replied 5 years ago.
California Business and Professions Code Section 17200 prevents businesses from engaging in unlawful, unfair, or fradulent business practices and could cover your situation.

You may have a potential cause of action against the school for violating section 17200 of the California Business and Professions Code.

You can read about the section here: