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John, Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 5687
Experience:  Exclusively practice labor and employment law.
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If I signed a separation agreement that prevents me from

Customer Question

If I signed a separation agreement that prevents me from disclosing proprietary information, does that prevent me from reporting illegal activity to the state ethics board.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  John replied 1 year ago.

Hi, thanks for submitting your question today. My name is***** have over 13 years of legal and consulting experience in this area. I’m happy to assist you with your question today. A separation agreement cannot prevent an employee from reporting illegal activity to a state or federal agency as a matter of law. It can, however, prevent the employee from getting a profit from the reporting. Thus, no, you are not prevented from reporting illegal activity. You may not be able to profit from it however.

I believe this answers your question. However, if you need clarification or have follow-up questions regarding this matter, I will be happy to continue our conversation – simply reply to this answer. If you are otherwise satisfied with my response, please leave a positive rating as it is the only way I am able to get credit for my answers. Thank you, ***** ***** wish you all the best with this matter.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
despite the law in Louisiana which says I can be reinstated and awarded back pay for reporting unethical and or illegal activity to the board of directors (for which I was retaliated against), I can report this to the ethics board but can not receive my
position back due to the separation agreement? And if they decide I have violated my separation agreement by reporting to the ethics board they cannot change my current status from voluntary resignation to terminated?
Expert:  John replied 1 year ago.

Most separation agreements have a provision that prevents you from recovering if you file with an agency, and in the event you do report it the funds you receive from the agency if any, allow the employer to claw back part or all of your separation amount. Yes, in the separation agreement you waived all rights of further personal recovery, the ethics board may recover and may, in fact, override the separation agreement, getting your position back but it cannot stop the employer from clawing back its contractually paid amount if such a clause is in the separation agreement. They cannot change your termination status based on reporting to an ethics commission, no.Hope this clarifies. let me know if I can assist further. thanks.