Can an employer threaten you into signing paperwork?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can an employer threaten you into signing paperwork?

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day at my place of employment I was forced to sign paperwork that I clearly stated I did

not agree with and initially refused to sign. I was pulled into the office with 3 managers and no one to witness my disagreement with this paperwork or my initial refusal to sign. My head

manager then threatened loss of my job if I did not sign, causing me to be forced into signing.

Asked on April 21, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Yes, your employer can tell you that if you don't sign, you will be terminated, unless you had a written employment contract which, by its terms, protected you from this (such as by prohibiting termination for this reason or without a certain process). Without an employment contract, you are an employee at will. This means you can be terminated at any time, for any reason--including not signing paperwork. If you are not willing to sign, your recourse would be to seek other employment--as an employee at will, you may leave employment any time you wish.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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