What should i do regarding a form that my employer wants me to sign?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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What should i do regarding a form that my employer wants me to sign?

On Thursday my employer called me into the office after 17 years of working there. They told me that I had several complaints by the same employee against me, yet they never gave me any previous notice of these complaints. Then they gave me a form that they want me to sign by Monday. It says that if I agree to everything stated in the form, I can take a deal where they would continue to pay me for 2 months but I would no longer work there. Or I can continue to work there but if a single complaint is made against me, I will be terminated immediately. If I sign that I do not agree with what is stated, I will be terminated immediately. The form states that I will not make a lawsuit against the company. I feel like there trying to get me to sign so they don’t get a lawsuit then they are just going to get rid of me.

Asked on April 7, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Iowa


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You have to decide whether it is better to be terminated immediately (assuming they choose to follow through and do that) without signing, while possibly having the right to sue IF you can establish some grounds or basis for a lawsuit; or whether it is better to take the two months severance and start looking for a job. (We are discounting the option of signing, giving up your right to sue, not getting any severance, but being subject to potential immediate termination if there is another alleged complaint, since that option offers you no advantage.) Unless you have already have a written employment contract which guarantees your job in these circumstances or prohibits them from terminating you for this reason, you are an "employee at will" and may be terminated at any time, for any reason, including alleged complaints which you were never previously notified of; or the employer can demand you sign a document like the one you describe on pain of being terminated if you do not. An employee at will has essentially no rights to his or her job. Therefore, they could fire you unless you sign; you need to decide whether you are better signing or running the risk of immediate termination.

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 AttorneyPages.com 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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