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The Language in a Workers’ Comp C&R Agreement Determines the Scope of Release.

September 11th, 2017

In Zuber v. Boscov’s, 2017 WL 3974513 (3rd Cir. 9/11/17), the Third Circuit held that the language of the release contained in a workers’ compensation Compromise and Release (C&R) agreement, did not bar the employee from suing his employer under FMLA and Pennsylvania common law employee rights theories.

In this case, the employee settled his workers’ compensation claim against his employer based on a C&R agreement that released the employer from, “any and all past, present and/or future benefits, including but not limited to wage loss benefits, medical benefits, specific loss benefits, disfigurement benefits … or any other monies of any kind, including but not limited to interest, costs, attorneys fees, and/or penalties for or in connection with the alleged … work injury.”

The employee then brought suit against the employer under FMLA and Pennsylvania common law alleging that the employer interfered with his FMLA rights by not telling him about his rights, not designating his leave time as FMLA, and for retaliating against him for exercising his FMLA and workers’ compensation rights.  The court held that the release language only barred actions arising out of work injury claims, which did not include FMLA and Pennsylvania common law employee rights theories.

Before Greenaway, Jr., Shwartz, and Greenberg, Circuit Judges, opinion by Greenaway, Jr..

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