Perez v. Uline, Inc., 157 Cal. App. 4th 953 (2007)

On the day that Brian Perez, a captain in the United States Marine Corps Reserves, returned to work after duty with the Reserves, his employment with Uline, Inc. was terminated. He was presented with a “Severance Agreement and Release,” offering him severance in the amount of six weeks’ salary in exchange for his execution of the release. The agreement stated that Perez had seven days to accept it and advised him “to consult with an advisor of his choice prior to executing it.” On the seventh day, Perez signed the release. Perez subsequently sued Uline and three of its employees, alleging wrongful termination in violation of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (“USERRA”), breach of oral contract, defamation and failure to pay overtime in violation of the California Labor Code. The Court of Appeal enforced the release and affirmed dismissal of Perez’s claims with the exception of the claim arising under USERRA, which expressly states that a contract may not limit the protections of the statute.