There was been continuous between myself and the doctor's office manager. I met with the doctor and explained that I could no longer take the manager's beratement and aggressive behavior. He accepted my resignation but wants a signed NDA upon my exit. Should I? Can I ask for a severance settlement? I have been there 12 years.


3 Answers 3


You really should be under no obligation to sign an NDA at this point. Since you've resigned you're not receiving any sort of severance. Asking for one just seems like shaking the money tree at this point. Depending on the legality of it in your locale, they might hold your final paycheck/payout until the NDA is signed.

I personally wouldn't sign it without at least thoroughly reading it first. Who knows if there is a special clause in there surrendering any kind of employment rights or something.

  • 7
    "they might hold your final paycheck/payout until the NDA is signed." in many US jurisdictions, this is treble damages if you can prove that the company was acting with malice.
    – user53861
    Commented Jun 12, 2021 at 0:30
  • 12
    Withholding wages due until the employee does something they're not obligated to do is almost certainly illegal everywhere. That's not to say the company can't get away with it or try it, but saying it might be legal somewhere sounds like a stretch.
    – Erik
    Commented Jun 12, 2021 at 6:21
  • 1
    The company presumably would have to provide proof they make all employees sign an NDA when they leave. If they do that then they can proof the NDA has nothing to do with the bullying, although the author might have a case, with regards to the bullying itself. Feeling forced to offer your resignation due to bullying by other employees or specifically managers can result in damages being rewarded in some jurisdictions. However, it has to be proven, which can be difficult.
    – Donald
    Commented Jun 12, 2021 at 13:25
  • 3
    @JoelEtherton No. There is no burden on the employee. Employer policy is irrelevant. Workers must be paid for all hours that they show up to work, period. Employers are not permitted to say "we're not happy with the details of your work, we're not paying you" (that would be wildly abused). The employer's only recourse is to fire the employee (and deal with unemployment claims...) before the notice period ends, if they're not happy with performance.
    – nobody
    Commented Jun 12, 2021 at 16:49
  • 4
    Huh? I never said anything about malice. You're the one saying "A company could argue that the NDA was a company policy OP was obligated to complete". No. Pay may not be withheld for violations of "policy". All hours worked must be paid. End of story. If you know of a jurisdiction that works otherwise, please name it.
    – nobody
    Commented Jun 12, 2021 at 18:12

One bit of advice that’s too late for you but not for others: if you are bullied or harassed you contact a lawyer before you quit.

You are under no obligation to sign anything. So you ask them what settlement they offer. A settlement usually consists of money and conditions. For example “we pay you $X, and in return you promise not to sue us and sign an NDA”. Then you decide whether the money is worth it to accept the conditions, so either you accept it or not.

You didn’t say which country you are in. In the UK, you would get unemployment and call it “constructive dismissal”; with 12 years employment you would be legally entitled to a significant settlement. So the company would have to take this into account when they offer a settlement.

  • It makes me wonder if the NDA is about the bullying.
    – Peter M
    Commented Jun 12, 2021 at 13:13

It depends what you want to achieve. Most people prefer to just move forwards with their careers with minimal drama, but some don't.

I suggest you just ignore the request for a signed NDA at this point. If you get paid then you can just leave. If they try and pressure you to sign you can deal with it at that time.

Your main concern is getting paid.

If they pressure you or it means more to you than the hassle, then by all means seek a settlement payment. If they want an NDA, they need to make it worth your while.

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