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Employer required me to sign an image release one year after employment. Is this legal?

Winter Park, FL |

More than a year into my employment, my manager passed around a contract and required everyone in my department to sign it that day. Signing was mandatory, she said, and I asked if I could have time to think about it and review it. She allowed only that day until end of business day to review and return.

The contract was a release of my image to the company, for any purposes and in perpetuity. I am in a right to work state, but even so, it seems extreme to require such an obligation from an employee. Was the company within their rights to pressure me to sign this?

I am an IT office professional at a privately owned college that participates in heavy advertising/marketing. My dept is in no way related to the marketing department.

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Attorney answers 1


In an at will employment state such as Florida, an employer is allowed to condition continued employment on signing specific agreements (although this is most commonly encountered in the context of a "noncompete" agreement). One way of describing "at will" employment is that you can be terminated for any reason except for a discriminatory and/or retaliatory reason.

Note, however, that the mere facts that you sign an agreement does not necessarily make it enforceable. The law does prevent enforcement of contracts to the extent that enforcement violates public policy. It appears that you may actually need to consult with an intellectual property attorney in order to determine whether the contract itself is binding.