Many arbitration decisions have held that it is illegal for the employer to require the employee to sign a release waiving their rights under the Canada Labour Code as a term of a settlement offered at the time of termination.
In recent years, one of the recurring circumstances where the efficacy of a signed release has been debated is where a former employee files an application with the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal.
When dismissing an employee, many employers will request that the departing individual sign a full and final release. Such releases can serve a number of useful functions. That said, they are primarily designed to limit the employer’s exposure to future liability arising from the employment relationship.