Signing a contract to not get unemployment benefit !!

I am losing my job soon , as the business I work for ( an independent jewelry store) is going out of business. They want me to sign a contract that I will not apply for unemployment benifits if I except 2 weeks of severance pay. Can they legally ask me to sign this, and if I do, will I not be able to get unemployment if I can't find another job soon??? Please help !!

1 answer  |  asked Dec 28, 2008 4:50 PM [EST]  |  applies to Florida

Answers (1)

Bonnie Riggens
Signing a contract to not get unemployment benefit !!

It is illegal to require a waiver of unemployment benefits. (See 443.041 below). However, be aware that if you sign an agreement that you are resigning, you may end up having your benefits denied. Also, an employer is under no obligation to give a severance package - it is considered a "gift". Before signing any severance
agreement you should have it reviewed by an attorney. Good luck.

443.041 Waiver of rights; fees; privileged communications. --

(1) WAIVER OF RIGHTS VOID.--Any agreement by an individual to waive, release, or commute her or his rights to benefits or any other rights under this chapter is void. Any agreement by an individual in the employ of any person or concern to pay all or any portion of any employer's contributions, reimbursements, interest, penalties, fines, or fees required under this chapter from the employer, is void. An employer may not directly or indirectly make or require or accept any deduction from wages to finance the employer's contributions, reimbursements, interest, penalties, fines, or fees required from her or him, or require or accept any waiver of any right under this chapter by any individual in her or his employ. An employer, or an officer or agent of an employer, who violates this subsection commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

posted by Bonnie Riggens  |  Dec 28, 2008 5:50 PM [EST]

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