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What Does a Waiver of Age Discrimination Rights Do?
When an employee waives the right to sue for age discrimination under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), that employee's claims of age discrimination will be dismissed if the employer can prove the waiver is valid.
When are Such Waivers Valid?
Under the Older Worker's Benefit Protection Act (OWBPA), such waivers must be made knowingly and voluntary to be valid, which means they must:
- Be in exchange for compensation beyond that which the employee is already entitled, such as early retirement benefits or a severance package
- Be written in plain English
- Specifically refer to ADEA rights or claims
- Not waive any rights or claims arising after the waiver's date
- Suggest in writing that the employee consult an attorney before signing
- Allow the employee at least 21 days to consider the waiver (or 45 days if part of an exit incentive or termination program) and at least 7 days to revoke the waiver
Must I Return the Waiver Compensation if I Still Want to Bring an ADEA Claim?
No, you need not return any benefits or severance pay given in exchange for the waiver to file ADEA charges, and employers cannot make contractual agreements requiring the compensation's return in the form of attorney fees or monetary damages in case of suit. Also, the filing of such a suit does not end the employer's obligations under the waiver.
Should I Consult a Lawyer about a Waiver of Age Discrimination Rights?
Pursuing an age discrimination claim can be complicated and frustrating. An experienced employment lawyer can help you with federal and state filing deadlines for your claim and help you investigate and pursue alternative remedies.
Consult a Lawyer - Present Your Case Now!
Last Modified: 04-24-2014 09:51 AM PDT
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