Cortland, NY asked in Libel & Slander and Employment Law for New York

Q: If I waive my right to sue my employer in New York State, but evidence later emerges I was not aware of that I was

was wronged, can I still sue despite the waiver? I've been offered a buyout, but they want me to waive the right to sue for any and all past actions. I'm concerned about defamation, harassment, and emotional distress.

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2 Lawyer Answers
Answered
  • Montclair, NJ
  • Licensed in New York

A: You cannot sue unless they deliberately and/or fraudulently withheld the information from you about the right to sue. That said, it still wouldn't be a clear cut case and possibly an uphill battle. Knowing more about the context here would be helpful, please feel free to reach out to me privately if you wish to discuss this matter in greater detail.

Derek John Soltis agrees with this answer

Answered
  • Tarrytown, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: You waive your rights regarding what happened to you in the past - before and until the date you sign the waiver.

If you are defamed, harassed, etc... after you sign the waiver then those actions do NOT apply.

This is not like a workers compensation claim where you were exposed to asbestos, had no idea you had been exposed, the employer knew or should have known, and you want to file a workers compensation claim for an occupational hazard or disease which your doctor now alleges was caused by work conditions. Even those claims are very difficult to prove but possible?

If you were harassed at work you would have known or should have known that you were harassed so those past claims are waived good-bye forever. If you were defamed while employed then you would know or should know that your pocketbook or finances or employability was impaired and you waive those claims good-bye forever.

You definitely need to consult with an employment lawyer before signing any legally binding document. Otherwise you probably will not know exactly what you are waiving good-bye to and if there is any chance you could have been exposed to toxic substances you should speak with a comp lawyer before you resign.

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