Servance agreement

My questions is I am getting a servance package and there is a claus about not sueing the company. Can I sign under distress because I do want to sue for discrimination. or do i ask for more money to compensate.

Thank You

1 answer  |  asked Aug 14, 2002 6:04 PM [EST]  |  applies to Arizona

Answers (1)

Francis Fanning
distress is not duress

You are undoubtedly distressed about being laid off, but that does not entitle you to sign a severance agreement and then claim you did not agree to its terms. Legal duress, which sometimes excuses one from a contractual obligation, requires proof that your free will was taken away, such as when one signs an agreement under threat that by not signing he will be injured in some way. Your employer does not have a legal obligation to pay severance to you, and most employers only pay severance in return for a release from liability. You are free to accept the severance or reject it and pursue your legal claim. You are not entitled to both. I suggest that you consult with an attorney to see whether you have any kind of viable claim of discrimination. Chances are your claim will be too weak and too expensive to pursue. In that case, you might as well accept the severance and move on. You can certainly ask for more, but if your layoff is part of a large reduction in force, I doubt that the company will want to set a precedent by paying you more than others are receiving.

posted by Francis Fanning  |  Aug 15, 2002 12:52 PM [EST]

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