No matter how many steps you take as an employer to avoid breaking wrongful termination laws, there is always a chance that an employee will sue you for this. There are many rules relating to legal and illegal reasons you can fire employees, yet a time may come when you are accused of this. There is a way you can protect yourself ahead of time for cases like this, and this involves creating a release agreement.
What Is A Release Agreement?
A release agreement is a form you can have created by an employment law firm that you will ask your employees to sign when they are hired. This form will state that the employees relinquish their right to sue when they accept the job position. This form can be designed strictly for wrongful termination cases, or it could cover other situations where employees may decide to sue you.
Is This Legal?
Asking your employees to sign release agreements is completely legal, as long as the wording is legal on the forms. The best way to ensure that your forms are legal and valid is having an employment law firm draw up the agreements. Employment law firms handle cases for employers and employees, and they know the law. As they are creating the form for you, they may suggest adding a clause that offers the employees something for signing it.
What Can You Offer?
Some employees may be reluctant to sign a form like this. They may feel like they are giving away all their rights as an employee, which is why you may want to offer something to them for agreeing to sign it. The first thing you will be offering to them is a job. You can refuse to give them a job if they will not sign it. The second thing you could offer is a severance package if they have a case against you.
The severance package you offer must be above and beyond what the employee would receive if he or she quit or was fired legitimately. In other words, if you give all employees pay for two additional weeks after they are fired, you will need to offer more than this on your release agreement. This is often a good enough incentive for employees, and this may encourage them to sign the form.
If you would like to learn more about release agreements for your company, contact a firm that offers employment law services, such as John Franco Law.
I'll be up front: I have a criminal record. As someone who's spent lots--and lots--of time looking for a job in my life, I've gotten used to being up front with this fact. It's difficult to get hired with this on my record, and frankly, it never gets less scary to have to tell an interviewer about it. But that doesn't mean I'm unemployable. I'm a hard worker who can bring a lot to any company. And I also know what an employer needs to do for me. I know my rights. There's no federal law protecting me from discrimination due to my record, but there are plenty of state laws that make it a little easier for me. If you're looking for a job and you have a criminal record, read through this information. Protect yourself during a job search. Know your rights.