FREE CONSULTATIONS:

888.465.5110

NO FEE UNLESS YOU WIN

Severance Agreements and Release of Age Discrimination Claims

When an employer offers a dismissed employee a severance agreement, the payment of money, continued benefits or some other consideration is almost always conditioned on the employee “giving up” certain rights.  The release or waiver of potential or existing claims (e.g. claims for discrimination, wrongful termination, breach of contract, etc.) will generally be held valid and enforceable in court.

However, in order to waive the protections of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”) the release agreement must meet the specific requirements to ensure that older workers are not unduly pressured into waiving their ADEA rights.

The burden is on the employer to draft a valid release.  If the release fails to meet any of the following requirements, the release will be void, entitling the employee to sue the employer, without having to return the consideration (usually the severance payment) given for the release. A valid waiver:

•    Must be written in a manner calculated to be understood by the average individual

•    Must specifically refer to rights being waived under the ADEA

•    Must not attempt to waive claims arising after the signing of the release

•    The consideration or payment for the waiver must be more that what the employee is entitled to under existing pension or compensation schemes

•    Must advised the employee in writing to consult an attorney

•    Must give the employee at least 21 days to consider the agreement, or 45 days if the waiver is requested in conjunction with an exit incentive

•    Must give the employee seven days to revoke, and

•    If the waiver is part of an reduction in force (“RIF”) or termination to a group or class of employees, the employer must provide the ages and titles of the other employee’s in the group or class, in writing.

If you feel that the severance agreement presented to you by your employer does not meet these requirements, we urge you to contact an attorney before signing.

Read more

City of Los Angeles sees more sexual harassment claims after change in reporting policy

City of Los Angeles sees more sexual harassment claims after change in reporting policy

Ever since the #MeToo movement took off last year, there has been a spotlight on sexual harassment in the workplace. From Hollywood to the tech world to the hospitality industry, employers have...

READ ARTICLE
Former Google engineer calls out ‘bro culture’ in sexual harassment lawsuit

Former Google engineer calls out ‘bro culture’ in sexual harassment lawsuit

Silicon Valley companies are facing a growing number of complaints about their toxic workplace culture. Increasingly employees are choosing to take legal action over allegations of sexual harassment and discrimination in the...

READ ARTICLE
California lawmakers grant whistleblower protections to staff

California lawmakers grant whistleblower protections to staff

California legislative staff members can now report sexual harassment, ethical violations and other workplace misconduct without fear of retaliation. Earlier this year, state Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill that provides employees...

READ ARTICLE
Four Seasons florist sues employer for discrimination and wrongful termination

Four Seasons florist sues employer for discrimination and wrongful termination

Some employers believe they can get away with certain unfair, or even illegal, behavior when employees are unaware of their rights. Employees may also fear losing their jobs or other negative consequences...

READ ARTICLE
SEEN ON
bloomberg
sfgate
kpix
cnnmoney
marin-ij
dailypost
news10