State law typically governs questions regarding the proper construction of a severance agreement and the validity of waivers. For example, under the Minnesota Age Discrimination Act, a release must give the employee fifteen days after signing the agreement to change his mind and revoke his signature. Under California law, a waiver cannot release unknown claims unless the waiver agreement contains certain language specifically providing for such a waiver. Other states may impose additional requirements to obtain an effective waiver of certain state law claims. To determine whether a severance agreement is enforceable in the state in which you work, contact your state labor law department or consult with an attorney for legal advice.
The employee signed the agreement, collected severance benefits, and then sued his employer for age discrimination under the ADEA. A court held that the severance agreement was not enforceable because it was not written in a manner calculated to be understood.
29 C.F.R. § 1625.22(f) (1) (iii) (A) (2005).
Yes. Even when a waiver complies with OWBPA’s requirements (see Question and Answer 6 above), a waiver of age claims, like waivers of Title VII and other discrimination claims, will be invalid and unenforceable if an employer used fraud, undue influence, or other improper conduct to coerce the employee to sign it, or if it contains a material mistake, omission, or misstatement.
Discrimination | European Commission
If your employer decides to terminate your job, you may be given a severance agreement that requires you to waive your right to sue for wrongful termination based on age, race, sex, disability, and other types of discrimination. Although most signed waivers are enforceable if they meet certain contract principles and statutory requirements, an employer cannot lawfully limit your right to testify, assist, or participate in an investigation, hearing, or proceeding conducted by the EEOC or prevent you from filing a charge of discrimination with the agency. An employer also cannot lawfully require you to return the money or benefits it gave you in exchange for waving your rights if you do file a charge. While this document is not intended to cover all of the issues that arise when your employer informs you that you are being terminated or laid off, the following checklist may help you decide whether or not to sign a waiver.
Legal and Financial Advice for Family Caregivers - AARP
See Appendix B for an example of an agreement issued to employees being laid off or terminated pursuant to a group exit incentive program.
Discrimination based on skin color - Wikipedia
The particular circumstances of each termination program determine whether the decisional unit is the entire company, a division, a department, employees reporting to a particular manager, or workers in a specific job classification.
The Definition of Disability - Accessible Society
This document uses the term “severance agreement” to describe any termination agreement between an employer and an employee, whether voluntary or involuntary, that requires the employee to waive the right to sue for discrimination.