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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 29799
Experience:  Former judicial law clerk, lawyer
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I was fired without warning from my job. I was given a Separation

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I was fired without warning from my job. I was given a Separation Agreement that stated

"In full consideration and as a material inducement for Employee's signing of this Separation Agreement and General Release, the sufficiency of which is hereby acknowledged, the COMPANY will pay Employee consideration in the amount of Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00) minus all legal deductions, in accordance with the COMPANY's normal pay procedures."

I was later told (via email) that that was an oversight, and that I would only be paid two-weeks severance. They sent out another copy, corrected, and unsigned. However, my ex-employer already signed and dated the form stating that would paid $10,000.00. Is my ex-employer to be held to the form that they have provided their signature on? It would certainly be much better for me to receive $10,000.00 than it would be to receive two-weeks pay.

The Agreement (signed) also states "This Separation Agreement cannot be modified except by express written agreement between the parties/ Employee represents that in executing this Separation Agreement, Employee does not rely and has not relied upon any representation or statement made by COMPANY or any of its agents or attorneys, with regard to the subject matter, basis or effect of this Separation Agreement, except those stated in the Separation Agreement."

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I'd be happy to answer your questions today.

Unless you knew that the agreement was a mistake or had information meaning that you should have known, the agreement is binding and enforceable. You have no obligation to agree to modify it - and your agreement wouldn't even be valid unless they gave you something in exchange for it, because they're already legally obligated to give you the $10,000.

If you have any questions or concerns about what I've written, please reply so that I may address them. It's important to me that you are 100% satisfied with the service I provide. Otherwise, please rate my service positively so that I get credit for answering your question. Thank you.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I haven't signed either form yet. Does my ex-employer notifying me via email that what was in the form they signed was incorrect then mean that I should have known it was mistake and is therefore not legally binding?


Thank you for your help!

Unfortunately, if they notified you of the mistake before it was signed, then you wouldn't be able to now sign it and claim the $10,000. In that scenario, there's no meeting of the minds - they aren't really intending to pay you. You'd only be entitled to $10,000 if you can find something in the employee handbook saying as much.
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