California: Use of Preprinted C & R Form Does Not Waive Claims Outside Workers’ Comp Context

A California appellate court found a state trial court committed error when it granted summary judgment to an employer in an employment discrimination case filed by a former employee based on its finding that the former employee had released the employer from liability for any and all potential claims, including claims falling outside the workers’ compensation system, when the employee signed a preprinted compromise and release (C&R) form to settle a workers’ compensation claim [see Camacho v. Target Corp., 2018 Cal. App. LEXIS 529 (June 8, 2018)].

The Court noted that neither the form nor an addendum contained any reference to non-workers’ compensation claims. The Court added that the context of the release language, which appeared in fine print and which was not underlined, bolded, or capitalized, referred to other workers’ compensation claims that were identified as being settled elsewhere, not to the employee’s potential discrimination claim.

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