The company I work for was recently sold and they have begun offering severance packages to those who will be laid off. Essentially, 1 week for every year, so, in my case, we're talking about 4 weeks severance. Part of the severance agreement is a stipulation that upon accepting the severance, you agree not to sue the employer for "any and all reasons".
The problem is there is currently a DEP investigation going on at my work site which is a chemical plant and warehouse. Our management sent out an email claiming the investigation was nothing of concern.
My question is, what if there are toxic issues at the site and I accept the severance agreement, does this mean if I develop an illness relating to any toxic exposure that I cannot sue to recover damages? I'm not sure 4 weeks severance is worth giving up the right to sue. Any help would be appreciated regarding this dilemma.
2 Answers from Attorneys
Thank you for your LawGuru question.
Chances are such a "lawsuit" would actually be a worker's compensation claim. But, to be sure, the release should clearly "carve-out" (i.e., exclude) health related claims. The agreement/release should be reviewed by an attorney. Please feel free to contact me so we can protect your legal rights. 973-921-0600.
Kindly note and remember that my response is merely a general comment on the law related to your question, and NOT legal advice or opinion. Also, your question and my response does NOT create an attorney-client relationship between us. You cannot rely upon what I have written, because I do not have all of the information that I need to advise you or render an opinion. Even simple facts you have not shared can completely change my answer. For me to give you legal advice or opinion, you would need to hire me to be your lawyer, and then we would need to discuss this in detail and go over the documents.
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You should have a lawyer look at the release, and make sure you know what you are giving up. This should not take a lot of time, and should not cost a lot, maybe an hour of the lawyer's time.
Give me a call, and I will be able to help you out.
Robert Davies, Attorney, 201 820 3460