Older Worker Benefit Protection Act Provides Protection in Lay Off Situations
Although the job market continues to improve, there are still sectors of the economy that are struggling and we continue to see companies lay off employees as they rebuild. Often individuals being laid off are provided with a severance package that provides financial assistance or benefits for a period of time. But severance comes with a cost – typically the (now former) employee must provide a waiver of all claims he or she may have against the company in exchange for the severance benefits. When the severance package includes a waiver of claims under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), another law, the Older Worker Benefit Protection Act (OWBPA) requires that the severance agreement include the following:
If more than one person is being laid off at the same time, the review period extends to 45 days and the company must provide a listing of the age of the individuals who were offered and not offered the severance package as well as the position those individuals held. However, the company is not required to identify the individuals by name.
Learning that you are about to lose your job can be emotionally and financially devastating and making informed decisions at that moment may be difficult. The attorneys at Craig Henry PLC routinely review these types of agreements to ensure compliance with the law and to assist people in determining whether signing the agreement is in their best interests.