Does Severance Agreement Disclude Unemployment Benefits?

I am concerned that if I sign a Severance Agreement offered by my employer, that the agreement might exclude me from otherwise being eligible for Unemployment Inusrance benefits. Specifically, does the phrase:

"I hereby release and forever discharge the company [and all of its subsidiaries, etc] from any and all
claims, actions, liabilities, causes of action, debts, and obligations of any kind, which I have or may have [etc] now or in the future..."

exclude me from claiming UI benefits? If I would release the company 'from all claims' are UI benefits essentially a "claim against the company" that I would have released?

1 answer  |  asked Nov 14, 2003 09:02 AM [EST]  |  applies to California

Answers (1)

Richard J. Vaznaugh
Just write in an exclusion

Probably not, since technically UE is a claim with EDD, not the employer. If you want to be safe, just write into the agreement as follows: "this agreement does not preclude me from applying for or receiving unemployment benefits."

Note however that if the severance is treated as continuing wages then EDD may not want to pay UE benefits until the wage peried is exhausted. Better is to get a lumpsum severance payment.

Sometimes it is worthwhile to pay a couple of hundred dollars for a severance review with an experienced employment attorney before signing these things.

Look at Celaweb.org to find an employment lawyer near you.

posted by Richard J. Vaznaugh  |  Nov 14, 2003 6:01 PM [EST]

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