If you are over the age of 40 and are being offered a severance agreement, it is important to be aware of the legal protections you are entitled to under the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act (OWBPA). One of the key provisions of the OWBPA is the requirement that employers provide workers over 40 with at least 45 days to consider a severance agreement before signing it.
The purpose of this 45-day “cooling off” period is to ensure that older workers have ample time to review the terms of their severance agreement and consult with an attorney if they wish to do so. During this time, the employer must honor the worker`s right to revoke the agreement for a period of seven days after signing.
In addition to the 45-day requirement, the OWBPA also sets certain minimum standards for the contents of a valid severance agreement. These include:
– A clear and easily understandable explanation of the specific rights or claims the worker is being asked to waive in exchange for the severance payment;
– A list of any job titles and ages of all individuals in the same job classification or organizational unit who are eligible or selected for the program; and
– An advisory statement informing the worker of their right to consult with an attorney before signing the agreement.
It is important to note that the OWBPA applies only to workers over the age of 40. If you are younger than 40, you may not be entitled to the same protections and benefits under the law.
If you are presented with a severance agreement and are unsure of your rights or the legality of its contents, it is always a good idea to consult with an attorney experienced in employment law and discrimination. With their help, you can ensure that you receive the full benefits and protections entitled to you by law.