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Barrister
Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
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Experience:  16 years practicing attorney
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Im being asked to sign a waiver form to receive a voluntary

Resolved Question:

I'm being asked to sign a waiver form to receive a voluntary separation incentive program cash payment of 20K-It's a post employment incentive-However I'm being asked to "release the County from all known and unknown claims you may have against the County, which arose or could have arisen out of your employment or resignation of employment with the County." It mentions relinguishing all rights and benefits afforded by California Civil Code 1542. At the bottom above the signature line again it says "PLEASE READ THIS LETTER CAREFULLY. IT INCLUDES A RELEASE OF ALL KNOWN OR UNKNOWN CLAIMS." The retirement sysytem I am part of has a lawsuit v. the County regarding retirement medical benefits, would I be excluded from the settlement? Thank You
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 7 years ago.

Hello,

.

Yes, if you sign the release in exchange for the cash payment, you are basically settling the lawsuit by releasing the county from any liability with regard to you for their actions. You would have to make the assessment as to whether the 20K is more than you would receive in any settlement.

.

.

California Civil Code Section 1542

.

A general release does not extend to claims which the
creditor does not know or suspect to exist in his or her favor at the
time of executing the release, which if known by him or her must
have materially affected his or her settlement with the debtor.

.

Thanks.

Matt

.

.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Here is the waiver form they are asking us to sign-

Rev 2/5/10

COUNTY OF SONOMA

VOLUNTARY SEPARATION INCENTIVE PROGRAM

WAIVER FORM

You are eligible to separate voluntarily from your employment with the County of

Sonoma ("County") and to receive benefits under the County Voluntary Separation

Incentive Program ("VSIP") for which you are eligible. The amount of separation pay

you will receive under the Program is $____________.

You previously provided the County with your irrevocable notice of resignation from the

County based upon your participation in the VSIP program. As a condition for receiving

the separation payment, you are required to execute this waiver form. Execution of this

waiver form acknowledges your concurrence with the terms set forth in the VSIP

documents, including but not limited to the Election Form previously submitted by you,

and the terms and conditions set forth below:

  • Your resignation of employment is voluntary. Nobody has pressured you into

resigning or made any representations to you (other than in the official Program

document and related written materials) about the Program or about benefits or

programs that the County might or might not offer in the future.

  • You understand that acceptance of the VSIP incentive will render you ineligible for

regular employment with the County, including special districts and agencies where

the Board of Supervisors also serves as the Board of Directors, for a period of two

years from your date of separation under the VSIP, unless a Department Head

requests an exemption from this requirement from the Human Resources

Department for the County.

  • You hereby release the County from all known or unknown claims you may have

against the County, which arose or could have arisen out of your employment or

resignation of employment with the County. These claims, include, for example,

claims in tort or contract, claims under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (29

U.S.C. §621 et. seq.), Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. §2000e et.

seq.), the Americans with Disabilities Act (42 U.S.C. §12101 et. seq.), any other

federal, state, or local statutes or laws, and claims arising under the County policies

and/or collective bargaining agreements. Your release does not include any claims

within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Workers Compensation Appeals Board or any

claims that cannot lawfully be released by private agreement.

  • Section 1542 of the California Civil Code provides, generally, that a release does not

extend to unknown claims. Specifically, Section 1542 of the California Civil Code

states as follows:

Rev 2/5/10

A general release does not extend to claims which the creditor does

not know or suspect to exist in his or her favor at the time of

executing the release, which if known by him or her must have

materially affected his or her settlement with the debtor.

For the purposes of implementing a full and complete release and discharge of the

County, you expressly waive and relinquish all rights and benefits afforded by

Section 1542 of the California Civil Code and acknowledge that the release is

intended to include and discharge all claims which you do not know or suspect to

exist related to your employment with the County at the time you execute this letter.

  • You acknowledge that you have not suffered any age or other discrimination or

wrongful treatment by the County.

  • This agreement shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of

the State of California.

You are advised to consult with your own attorney before signing this letter

PLEASE READ THIS LETTER CAREFULLY. IT INCLUDES A RELEASE OF ALL

KNOWN OR UNKNOWN CLAIMS.

I hereby agree to the terms and conditions set forth above. I acknowledge that I have

been advised to review this letter agreement with counsel.

Name Date

 

Here is the response I received from MY Dept's ASO II-

From what I understand, it does not exclude you from the litigation, it just does not invite you to sue the county ;o) They addressed the issue at the board today and you can watch the item on the web.

http://supervisors.sonoma-county.org/meeting_archive.aspx?sid=1001&id=1002

 

From: Ron Franceschi
Sent: Tuesday, March 16, 2010 1:36 PM
To: TERRY LOVOLD
Subject: RE: VSIP Offer - March 16, 2010

 

Thanks Terry-I have to think about the Waiver Form-It could have big financial impact on my health care cost-If it excludes me from the SCARE v. the County litigation.

 

From: TERRY LOVOLD
Sent: Tuesday, March 16, 2010 1:19 PM
To: Ron Franceschi
Subject: VSIP Offer - March 16, 2010

 

Please see attached VSIP Offer letter and let me know if you have any questions.

Does this change any thing?

 

Thank You,

 

Ron

Expert:  Barrister replied 7 years ago.

This is the paragraph of interest that looks exactly like a settlement of all known claims at this time, including the one you are involved with.

 

You hereby release the County from all known or unknown claims you may have against the County, which arose or could have arisen out of your employment or resignation of employment with the County. These claims, include, for example, claims in tort or contract, claims under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (29 U.S.C. §621 et. seq.), Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. §2000e et.

seq.), the Americans with Disabilities Act (42 U.S.C. §12101 et. seq.), any other

federal, state, or local statutes or laws, and claims arising under the County policies

and/or collective bargaining agreements.

.

.

This is a known claim and by its very language, you are releasing the County from all known claims by settling. I would suggest contacting the attorney who is representing the County in writing and asking point blank if you would be releasing the County in the current action by accepting the settlement. I would require them to put their answer in writing as well if they said you weren't settling the current case.

Attorneys have been known to lie on occasion.

Thanks

Matt

Barrister and 2 other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Thanks for your help-Attorneys wouldn't lie, would they :-)
Expert:  Barrister replied 7 years ago.

Never, trust me....

 

thanks.

Matt