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Be careful when waiving your age discrimination rights

As America's workforce ages and the business landscape continues to shift, older workers often find themselves increasingly left out of the workforce and struggling to remain effective. To ensure that older employees do not receive unfair treatment without recourse, the law protects against age discrimination in the workplace though the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). Under the ADEA, aging employees have protections they may or may not choose to waive.

While it is becoming increasingly common for companies to ask older employees to waive their ADEA rights in order to receive a severance package, it is always important to assess the situation before doing so. Not all ADEA waivers operate exactly the same way, so it is important for those considering a waiver to understand what they should expect from such an offer. In order for the waiver to hold up in court, it must:

  • Be made in writing
  • Be readable
  • Not seek to limit the future ADEA rights of the employee
  • Recommend that the employee seek out independent counsel
  • Offer the employee at least 21 days to deliberate on the matter
  • Offer the employee at least seven days to revoke the agreement after signing

If you believe that it may be time to waive your ADEA rights against age discrimination in the workplace, then you should carefully consider all the implications of such a waiver and the compensation that your employer is offering you in return. If you have concerns about signing such a waiver or simply want to make sure you understand the issue fully, you can speak with an experienced attorney to keep your rights and priorities secure.

Source: FindLaw, "Age Discrimination in Employment," accessed Feb. 23, 2018

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