For severance agreements offered to employees who are 40 years old and over, the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act (OWBPA) forbids discrimination by employers based on age. The OWBPA also protects employees from being coerced or pressured into signing legal waivers of rights under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). The OWBPA imposes specific requirements for severance agreements: amongst other requirements, the agreement must provide that the employee has 21 days to consider the offer and that after acceptance, the employee has 7 days to revoke his or her decision.
Failure to include this very specific language can result not only in the severance agreement being unenforceable, but also in liability against the employer if the employee files suit on the ground that the agreement is not in compliance with the law.
To view the full text of the OWBPA, please visit: http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/history/35th/thelaw/owbpa.html.
If you are over the age of 40 and have any questions about your NY or NJ Severance Agreement or Severance Package, please contact us for a free initial consultation.