Under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), aging employees have protections against age discrimination in the workplace. Older employees are often some of the most vulnerable to unfair practices, especially as the business world continues to change and evolve at a rapid pace. Without these protections, workers may see themselves sidelined well before they can afford to retire.
However, it is becoming increasingly common for employers to ask older employees to waive their age discriminate rights in order to receive a severance package or similar consideration. In many cases, this is a reasonable request that ultimately benefits the employee and the employer alike, but it is always wise to carefully consider the matter before waiving rights in the workplace.
For such a waiver to benefit an employee, it must only apply to a specific circumstance, not any future ADEA rights of the employee. It must also guarantee the employee at least 21 days to consider the terms of the offer and at least seven days to revoke the agreement once the employee signs it. It is also required that the offer advises the employee to seek independent counsel.
Independent legal counsel is an important protection that far too many employees overlook. When it comes to sacrificing rights for a severance package, it is wise to make use of independent counsel, to make sure that you understand the legal matters at hand and the steps you can take to protect yourself from unfair practices in the workplace. With professional counsel, you can focus on the next chapter of your career while your priorities remain protected.
Source: FindLaw, “Age Discrimination in Employment,” accessed Feb. 23, 2018