+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 16
  1. #1
    PrettyGreenEyes Guest

    Post Agreements - Is my employer obligated to provide me with a copy

    I live and work in the state of Ohio. My employer is constantly having me and other employees sign agreements. My employer says that if I/we do not sign them, that I/we will be terminated. My employer also says they do not have to give me/us copies of these documents. They tell us that I/we are not entitled to a copy of these various documents. Is any agreement (employment or otherwise) valid/legalally binding when one of the parties is not provided with a copy of the agreement.

    Thanks very much,
  2. #2
    cbg
    cbg is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    34,280
    I honestly don't know the answer to your question, but what is preventing you from making a photocopy of it yourself?

    (While I don't know the answer for certain, I don't think that refusal to give you a copy will legally invalidate the agreement.)
  3. #3
    PrettyGreenEyes Guest
    What is preventing me from making a photocopy myself? When I am required to sign an agreement, I am always at work. The employer refuses to allow me to copy the document at work and also refuses to allow me to take any document(s) off site.

    It is my understanding that although the aggrement would be binding whether or not I received a copy, the aggreement would probably not be binding on me since I received no "consideration." In other words, since I stood to gain nothing by signing the agreements, those agreements are not enforcible.
  4. #4
    Beth3 is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    14,991
    Actually, you are being provided consideration - your job. They don't have to give you any extra money or other benefits to insist you sign these agreements. Your continued employment is the consideration.
  5. #5
    cbg
    cbg is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    34,280
    Also, a lot depends upon what the "agreements" are, which is something you haven't explained. If they are changes in company policy which are binding on everyone, whether you get a copy or not is immaterial. If they are specific to you and no one else, that *may* be a different story (but probably not).
  6. #6
    PrettyGreenEyes Guest
    Actually Beth, you are incorrect.

    I just got off the phone with an attorney who specializes in contractual law. He stated a couple of things.

    First, since I had already signed my application, signed off on my employee handbook, and signed off on my willingness to take a drug test, I am not obligated to accept any new agreements unless those agreements DO carry an additional "consideration" or some additional benefit to not only my employer, but also to me.

    Second, any agreement signed under duress is not binding. Since I was told to sign the aggreements or be terminated, then I signed all of those agreements under duress.
  7. #7
    Beth3 is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    14,991
    I respectfully disagree with the attorney. Absent a bonafide employment contract, the employer is free to alter the terms of your employment, including signing any new agreements, non-competes, etc. that they require. Your continued employment IS the consideration you are being provided, should you agree to the new terms.

    I also disagree with his opinion that the agreements were signed under duress if the employer said you must sign or be terminated. However, if the employer insisted you sign ON THE SPOT or be terminated without giving you adequate time to understand the terms of the agreement, consider them, and give your fully informed consent, then the agreements would be invalid - not because they said you would be terminated for refusing per se, but because you weren't given adequate time to consider what you were signing.

    This attorney may specialize in contract law but certain aspects of "at will" override basic contract law issues and this (in part) is one of them.
  8. #8
    hmmbrdzz Guest
    Be cautious of an attorney who advises you that you signed something under duress. If an employer hands you a legal document and advises you to sign it and of the consequences (termination) if you don't sign it, you're under no duress when you sign it. You know what you're doing. Employers have a right to make employees acknowledge everything going on in the work place, i.e. change of policy, change of procedure, time clock issues, saftey issues (ad infinitum). THey can change these procedures anytime and make you sign documents daily or three times daily, put them in your file, and not give you time to make a copy. You can request to look at your personnel file, but you are not allowed to copy all information contained. And information contained in your personnel file is not the same information contained in your supervisor's employee file. My advice -- if these documents are tacking more duties onto you, sign them and do the best job you can. If you start requesting to make photocopies of documents that aren't related to any disciplinary action that's being taken against you specifically (and your employer has explained what these documents are), your employer is going to frown on your approach "I want copies". If you've already contacted an attorney about this and it gets back to your employer and they approach you about it, deny having contacted an attorney, and then start looking for another job. Honestly -- I'm not being sarcastic -- that's the best advice I can give.

    hmmbrdzz
  9. #9
    cbg
    cbg is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    34,280
    Actually, hmmbrdzz, whether or not they are entitled to see their personnel file and/or make copies is a matter of state law. In my state, they have a right to both.
  10. #10
    Beth3 is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    14,991
    I agree, hmmbrdzz, although we don't have any idea what these agreements are. If they're no more than changes in policies, practices, or procedures, then the employer can indeed give the ee mere moments to read and sign on the spot. If the agreements are more contractual in nature (such as a non-compete), then they would be required to give the employee a more reasonable length of time to read and understand what they are signing, although "reasonable" may not be more than an hour or two.
  11. #11
    hmmbrdzz Guest
    To Beth3: Yeah... I have no idea what the documents are. Something about it has a ring of "trouble" (inasmuch as she contacted an attorney). What kind of trouble ? I don't know.
    The best advice I could think was to "cooperate, sign the papers, don't make waves, and don't let them know you've contacted an attorney" !! I didn't even like giving the advice to request looking in the personnel file because that can be a red flag! Whew! Just do the job. That's really all that MOST employers want. Granted, there are some bad ones out there, but when it comes down to employment law (except for extreme violations of employment practices) if one wants to avoid trouble in the work place, the bottom line is: work hard and get along with the boss, or get along. And that word "duress"??? If an employee came to me and said "I signed those papers under duress", that would be the straw. I might not start looking right away for my reason for firing them, but I sure would be looking hard for the next mistake they made. Don't go up against the boss. It's just not a very good idea. Granted -- if you're making $50 K a year, going up against the boss might benefit you. Might.
  12. #12
    hmmbrdzz Guest
    To cbg: I'm not even certain what the laws are on personnel files in my state now for that matter. About 10 years ago, I requested to see my personnel file and was told that I couldn't make copies of certain items. When posting here, I didn't even think about the personnel file issue because a matter of "state law". But now that you've reminded me -- it seems a shame that one would have to forego mentioning the good ole personnel file (or clarify that personnel files fall under state law) when one is giving advice on work place issues in this free advice forum intended for federal law discussion, but I can see why you would remind me of the difference. Thanks. I'll try to remember it.
  13. #13
    cbg
    cbg is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    34,280
    Where did you get the idea that this forum was intended for Federal discussion? It says at the top in big red letters to include your state since state laws vary.

    Not trying to give you a hard time, just curious.
  14. #14
    hmmbrdzz Guest
    I'm kind of new this forum, so I'm not sure of all the rules, but I know that I've read posts where people tell others not to talk about certain things because it's considered "under state law", and I thought perhaps you were sending me that kind of message. I just LOVE this forum! And when I'm writing, I don't take time to consider state vs. federal, and since I can type about 125 words per minute, and I'm having fun here, and so I'm everywhere! It's good "therapy"! Nice to meet all of you. If my opinions differ or if I sound "wordy", I'm just blabbing and having fun. Not working right now -- and this is good for the soul.
  15. #15
    Beth3 is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    14,991
    hmmbrdzz, be careful giving advice without any consideration of the poster's State law. Something may indeed be legal under federal law but State law may have something quite different. For example, federal law says nothing about pay frequency and pay upon termination but almost every State has something quite definite to say on the subject.

    People come here looking for help and I think it's important those of us who respond give them the most accurate legal information we can.

Similar Threads

  1. Am I obligated to provide exwife with my past tax filings?
    By txbirdie in forum Child Custody & Visitation
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 09-02-2010, 08:53 PM
  2. Ins co or employer required to provide LTD & STD policy copy (AZ)? Law#?
    By joedavis35 in forum Disability & Long Term Care Insurance
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 06-25-2010, 03:18 PM
  3. Replies: 2
    Last Post: 09-30-2005, 11:09 AM
  4. Is a PR obligated to provide me documentation?
    By polywog in forum Probate and Personal Representatives
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 08-18-2005, 01:40 PM
  5. Employer Refuses to provide copy of old w-2 form
    By juliotango in forum Tax Law
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 09-06-2003, 05:25 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

© 1995-2012 Advice Company, All Rights Reserved

FreeAdvice® has been providing millions of consumers with outstanding advice, free, since 1995. While not a substitute for personal advice from a licensed professional, it is available AS IS, subject to our Disclaimer and Terms & Conditions Of Use.