I'm in Ohio and I signed a workman's compensation settlement and release agreement. After going through the EEOC I have found out that I have retaliation charges against my employer. Can I sue my employer even though I signed the workman's comp release?

I signed a workman's compensation release paper. I asked my workman's comp lawyer was this normal release agreement. He said yes! I end up finding out later after looking through evidence and going through three different states with the EEOC. I found out by the law that I do have retaliation against my employer. I was just wondering if I could sue them for retaliation even though I signed the workman's comp release form?

1 answer  |  asked Apr 22, 2019 10:59 AM [EST]  |  applies to Ohio

Answers (1)

Neil Klingshirn
The answer lies in the workers compensation settlement agreement. It will contain a "Release," which is a release of your claims against this employer. The Release will either be "general" release, meaning it releases all claims you ever had against that employer up to that point in time, or it will be a "Specific" release, meaning it only released a specific claim, like your workers compensation claim. If you signed a general release, it probably bars the workers compensation retaliation claim. If your workers compensation retaliation claim arose after you signed the release, however, then the release would not bar it. A release can only bar a claim that exists at the time of the release.

Finding out whether your release was general or specific is no mystery, as it should be written clearly in the agreement.

If you signed a general release, then your workers compensation retaliation claim is probably barred, even if you only recently discovered it. Unless the employer improperly prevented you from discovering the evidence of retaliation, the fact that you were not aware of a claim probably does not change the effect of the release.

Finally, even if you could get past a release, Ohio law requires you to send a notice to your employer of the alleged retaliation within 90 days of it, or your claim is barred. So unless you did that or you are still within 90 days of the retaliation, you might also be barred by the notice requirement.


Neil Klingshirn

posted by Neil Klingshirn  |  Apr 22, 2019 11:24 AM [EST]

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