In most cases, settlement agreements contains provisions known as “General Releases.” Within the General Release provision of the agreement the claimant will usually agree to not bring any other claim or demand against the employer which had matured at the time of its execution. In other words, the injured worker is agreeing to take the amount of the settlement and release the employer from any and all other causes of action that the employer may have had at the time of the signing of the agreement. In addition to the above language, these agreements generally contain a provision where the employee, if still employed, agrees to resign from her position, or if not currently employed, agrees to not seek rehire through the employer.
Whether or not the release contains language about resigning or not seeking rehire is solely in the employers discretion. The common trend is going towards requiring resignation. There are very few employers that will allow the injured worker to remain employed subsequent to the settlement of their case.
Sometimes this is a deal breaker when it comes to whether or not the injured worker wants to settle. They may like their job and not want to have to leave, or the value of their case is simply not worth them giving the job up. If the injured worker does not want to give up their job in order to settle their case they do not give up the possibility of settling at a later date. In essence, the injured worker may keep their case open for years, as long as she receives medical treatment through an approved workers’ compensation physician or payment of any indemnity benefit.