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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Legality of separation waiver for final paycheck

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Utah

    I've been a salaried employee for several years with a firm that is defunding my current research area. There have been no questions regarding quality or quantity of my job performance, and all work has been completed per the contract.

    I am being asked to sign a 'separation agreement' which is essentially a full waiver of any legal recourse against the company (which I have no intention of doing) as a condition of a final paycheck + PTO (more than a full paycheck). There is no reciprocal language protecting me.

    Given that the work has been completed and payment should be made according to the initial employment agreement, is tying final payment to a waiver standard practice, or is it bordering on extortion? My untrained reading of the legalese is leaning towards the latter, and that I should not sign the document.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Under Utah law, If the employee is separated by the employer, all wages are due immediately and payable within 24 hours of separation. Also If an employer has an established policy or practice of providing vacation benefits they are expected to abide by the policy or practice. File a complaint with the Utah DOL.

    Are they offering a severence package?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    There is no monetary severance package, but they are allowing me to complete in-house coursework and use some company resources in the meantime. I can understand signing away legal rights for additional severance, but not for wages earned. Rights regarding copyrights and use of the research are still being negotiated, so I don't want to sign anything that is overly broad.

    I've tracked down Utah Title 34-8-5, which is very explicit on the immediate (24 hour) payment issue, and agree that my initial intuition was correct.

    Your advice is much appreciated. I need to remain on friendly terms for various reasons, so I'll proceed with discretion.

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