You’ve finally done it. With the help of your skillful Atlanta minimum wage and unpaid overtime lawyer, you’ve successfully negotiated the terms of a settlement that’s agreeable to both sides. The defense gets to stop litigating and you get compensated. So, getting your check and dismissing your case are all that’s left, right?
Actually, no. There is another part of the settlement process upon which the defense will almost inevitably insist (and you should, too.) That’s the “release agreement.” The release agreement is a contract that says that in exchange for the defense making payment and you dismissing your case, there are certain things each side agrees to do and/or not do. This agreement might seem like a mere formality, but it’s actually very important. You need to ensure that the agreement you sign does not contain overly broad or imprecise language that potentially inhibits your ability to seek compensation for other non-FLSA-related transgressions in which your employer may have engaged.
As an example, there’s this Fair Labor Standards Act case from south Georgia. The employer was a property cleanup and restoration business in Brunswick, and the plaintiffs were two of its employees. (The specifics of the alleged violations weren’t relevant to the court’s ruling, so the judge did not discuss them.)