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Can an employer have you sign a separation agreement not to file for unemployment?

by Betty
(Cleveland, Ohio)

At the time of my separation, my administrator verbally and in writing, agreed to severance pay for 8 days and was agreeable to pay for 2 months of COBRA insurance. Three weeks after the separation, Human Resources from my former employer, advised me that I would have to sign a separation agreement in order for me to be reimbursed for COBRA. That document came registered mail to me 6 weeks post termination. (Keep in mind, they have challenged my unemployment benefits and I had to file an appeal.) Within this agreement, they have stipulated I would not have any "claims"

upon them for the termination and this agreement would supercede any other agreement, namely the written and signed statement from the administrator, to cover my COBRA, at the point of separation. "Claim?" You do file a "claim" weekly. So, in essence, if I want them to cover my COBRA, I would give up my rights for unemployment? I think I need an attorney....

Hi Betty,

I agree, I think you need to ask an employment attorney some questions.

When ever an employer ask an employee to sign any kind of agreement, you can bet there is a legal reason behind it and a decision to NOT get an attorney's advice is unwise in my opinion .. especially if you are being asked to sign something that would supersede an already existing agreement.

Whenever anything new comes along that "changes things" you have to be on your guard.

You've asked a very astute question, for which I really can't say anything about unemployment except, if an employer tries to legally prohibit you from filing for benefits within an agreement, I think they are legally out of line.

The intention I had in mind for this website, was for anyone to share what they know or have learned through personal experience so others asking the same question can learn or at least become aware they should investigate further.

Sorry I can't help more Betty.


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