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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 116716
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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In Pittsburgh, PA, in the employ of a church, I was fired

Customer Question

In Pittsburgh, PA, in the employ of a church, I was fired without notice, without a performance review, without explanation. I was required to sign an agreement stating I would not talk about it and waived all rights, in order to receive one month of severance pay. I did sign the agreement. Do I have any recourse? I keep being told by people who mean well, that it's illegal to make me sign away all rights to sue.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
I am afraid that employment in PA without any written contract to the contrary is deemed at will, which means the employer can terminate the employee with or without good cause for no reason or any reason as long as it was not based solely on your age/race/sex/disability/national origin. I am sorry to say that people who told you it is illegal to sign waiving your rights are mistaken. Under PA law and Federal Law an employer can use a severance agreement whereby they pay the employee something and the employee agrees not to sue. This is a binding contract and once you signed waiving those rights I am afraid you are bound to that contractual agreement and cannot sue. So if you signed this agreement, you cannot have any recourse and that is perfectly legal under both PA law and federal law.