After Claxton v. Waters (2004) 34 Cal.4th 367, the Workers Comp. Appeals Board amended its standard claims release form to more clearly state that the release waived only claims for which workers compensation benefits might be paid, not other types of employee claims.  Here, that limitation was not overcome by an addendum that released any claims for medical benefits, lost wages, damages, or relief of any nature, including claims under Lab. Code 132 and 4553.  The addendum’s release did not mention any claims for relief that fell outside the worker’s compensation system.  Also, the language on which Target relied to argue for a broader release was found in the midst of a long paragraph, not separately marked off or brought to the employee’s attention.  And the release did not contain a waiver of CC 1542.  In short, the release did not waive the employee’s sexual orientation employment discrimination claims.

California Court of Appeal, Fourth District, Division 1 (Aaron, J.); June 8, 2018; 2018 Cal. App. LEXIS 529