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Age Discrimination Release Voided

Posted by Frank Steinberg | Apr 18, 2007 | 0 Comments

Terminated older (over age 40) workers who receive severance packages will find themselves presented with a long document that includes, among other things, a release of any legal rights they may have against their employer.  Those releases — or "waivers" in the parlance of federal law — are governed by the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act [OWBPA].  The OWBPA contains detailed requirements that the employer must satisfy for their waivers to hold up in court. 

Over time a few ex-employees have been able to convince courts to void their releases, which allowed them to sue their ex-employers despite seeming to have signed away their rights.

The linked decision of the federal District of Minnesota in Pagliolo v. Guidant Corporation is a virtual road map to attacking a release under the OWBPA.  The opinion is methodical, and there's a lot to be learned here for both ex-employees and downsizing employers (and their attorneys).  

About the Author

Frank Steinberg

Frank is the founder and principal of Steinberg Law, LLC. A Jersey boy born and bred, he focuses on employment litigation and counseling, business litigation,  and aviation law. Following law school and a clerkship in the federal district court Frank spent his early career with large litigation ...

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