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Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq., Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 19229
Experience:  Employment/Labor Law Litigation
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I was given a release to sign from my now former employer upon

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I was given a release to sign from my now former employer upon being fired, is there any legal recourse they could take if I do not sign it?
Thank you for your question today, I look forward to assisting you. I bring nearly 20 years of legal experience in various disciplines.

What is the release related to? Are they offering you severance and, to get it, you have to sign the release?

Does the release state that you will not sue them?
I'm not sure if you saw my questions. I'll try to address the issue as best I can without the information I requested.

A release is an agreement for you to not sue the employer. It is usually in return for something from them.

Your choosing not to sign the release won't give the employer some legal rights against you. Rather, it will preserve legals rights that you would have to sue them, though you'd lose whatever benefit they were willing to offer in exchange for the release.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Yes, a months pay, health and no contest to unemployment.


It reads they want to resolve through settlement and compromise any and all claims or controversies that exist or may exist.


Categories under what they want me to agree to are: full & general release of liability, no claims exist, adequacy of consideration, business and confidential information, property return,expenses, confidentiality, non disparagement, no admission of liability, voluntary nature of agreement, consideration period, binding effect, representation, defense to litigation, non- interference, & governing law.


They want this signed and notarized by Monday

Well, from that it seems that the release is for your gain. If you don't sign the release, they can try to block your unemployment, so that is one legal recourse they'd have, but otherwise there isn't any thing that legally compels you to sign the release.

You just have a choice. Do you think that you have some lawsuit against them for discrimination based on race, religion, gender, age, disability or FMLA use? If you don't then you gain nothing by keeping your right to sue. If you don't think you have a suit against them for some form of discrimination, then you're best interest is to sign the release and take what they are offering.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

So they can try to block my unemployment if I dont sign, but that can be appealed but other than that there is no legal recourse they can take against me for not signing?

Yes, all employers can try to block their employees unemployment, if they have the facts to support that.

If they sign this, they are barred from trying.

As for other legal recourse they might have against you, I have no idea all the facts surrounding your termination/resignation. I can't say that they can't sue you for something, because I don't know why you're leaving.

That being said, this doesn't appear to be a mutual release at all. The only person releasing anything in this agreement is you. They don't appear to be releasing any rights they have, so it's entirely possible that if they have a basis for suing you (again, I have no idea what that might be), this release wouldn't stop them because the language you've noted only goes one releasing them in exchange for your severance.
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