Here’s a cautionary tale if you’re tempted to throw together a quick liability release without paying an attorney.
Recent case: John Hribek, who was over age 40, worked as a convenience store manager. When he was called into a meeting with upper , he learned he was being terminated. The company offered him severance pay if he promised not to apply for unemployment or “any other benefit from a state or federal agency.”
Hribek signed, but changed his mind the next day. Then he filed for unemployment—and filed a disability discrimination and lawsuit.
Six years later, the validity of the agreement is still in litigation. A Texas appeals court recently sent the case back to a trial judge for more testimony on the circumstances under which the agreement was signed. (Buc-ee’s Limited v. Hribek, No. 03-08-00120, Texas Court of Appeals, 2009)
Note: Think that quicky agreement saved the employer any money?
- How to Fire an Employee the Legal Way: 6 Termination Guidelines
- 10 Secrets to an Effective Performance Review
- Your rules can protect against retaliation—make sure managers follow them
- Think contractors can't sue for bias? They can--under little-noticed Section 1981
- Changing compensation systems? Here's how to avoid age discrimination claims
- Testifying for subordinate may be protected activity