How do you achieve closure after a worker’s compensation claim? Chances are, you’ve been involved in filing and following through with all of the necessary steps of a claim for months. A clincher agreement is there to provide final resolution. This agreement states that all parties have reached a final agreement, and it is only allowed by the North Carolina Industrial Commission when it meets all of the requirements of Rule 502. So rest assured that there are legal steps that your employer must take to ensure that you have been treated fairly.  

There are a few things of which you should be aware if you are in the process of formulating a clincher agreement with your employer.

Whether or not it seems fair, it’s a fact that many employers seek to obtain a resignation and release of all employment claims at the same time they get a clincher of the workers’ compensation claim. Why? A previously injured employee is a future liability. In their view, and it makes good economic sense to secure an employment resignation and release at the end of the workers’ compensation claim. To ensure things go smoothly, there are a few things to consider before you discuss a resignation and release.

  • A resignation and release of employment and employment-related claims should be discussed and negotiated with an employment lawyer to avoid any mistakes that could ultimately cost you.
  • The money paid for an employment resignation and release must be separate from the money paid for the workers’ compensation clincher. Make sure the check for the employment resignation and release comes directly from your employer, not the insurance company. Keep in mind that payment from a resignation and release will most likely be considered taxable income. Again, have an employment lawyer negotiate this issue to be certain expectations of both parties are clear.
  • Consider mediation, which creates an excellent opportunity to discuss both clinchers and resignation and releases. Typically a mediation make sure that both parties have useful and productive discussions with one another.

It is important to know that you cannot be forced to resign from your employment. If you are not willing to voluntarily and willfully resign your position, make that clear to your employer.