Can companies demand employees sign a severance agreement for last pay?
April 12, 2013 4:54 AM Subscribe
A good friend left a company I work with under weird circumstances and said he's not allowed to discuss it the terms of his severance, but seems really unhappy and bitter about it. Through the comments of other people at the company, I strongly suspect that the "severance" he had to sign a nondisclosure agreement for is actually only pay he was legally owed - pay for his unused vacation time and reimbursements for authorized expenses while on the job. If this is true, was it legal for them to demand this in exchange for cutting him his last check? Bonus: what is his legal recourse if this happened some time ago?
I also believe the agreement contained a nondisparagement clause, and they did not give him a copy of the agreement when he signed it. This happened over a year ago, but I just became aware of some of the details recently.
I know that his wife believes he signed it in some way "under duress", and I suspect seriously shady shenanigans were involved. I know he should have got an employment lawyer to look it over, demanded a copy, etc, but that was not an option financially at the time.
1) Was this legal? Both for my friend, and also for my own moral understanding of whether what the company did was just shitty, or they actually knew they were doing wrong.
2) Does he have recourse?