There are severance agreements because workers have the right, under federal and regional laws, to sue their employers for many types of offences. But a severance agreement creates a waiver of that right. Finally, it is important to remember that ADEA only protects workers over the age of forty who are employed by employers with at least twenty employees. (It also applies to workers from the age of forty who work in certain other institutions, including local, state or federal governments). For example, if you are 39 years old, you cannot sue for age discrimination under ADEA, and your severance agreement is not required to meet the strict requirements mentioned above. Nevertheless, the average age of American workers is 42, so many workers are entitled to full ADEA benefits, including their severance requirements. Because they feel they have no leverage, many employees do not try to negotiate the terms of their severance agreements. It is true that, in many situations, the employer has stronger bargaining power, but that does not mean that employees do not have room to negotiate. Every time I hear cases like this, my blood starts to boil. These forced tactics have absolutely no place in the workplace. It is serious enough that Jena is subject to overt discrimination, but on top of that, they are trying to force her to sign an agreement, God knows what it contains. Every employee has the right to verify a termination agreement with a lawyer before signing it. I`m stopping.
This is a big mistake that many employees make. We are not saying that an employee automatically hires a lawyer to read and explain a termination agreement. If an employee does not feel that he or she has been the victim of illegal employer behaviour or if the terms of the severance pay are relatively reduced, the comparative costs of hiring a lawyer may not be worth it. Jena appealed to the Sixth Court of Appeal. The sixth circle accepted Jena and stated that « the applicant is not required to repay the consideration received under a severance agreement before making claims for violation of Title VII or the EPO. » Midwest argued that the whole meaning of the « return offer » is to allow the establishment of a contract in the form of marketing. If a party terminates a contract, it would have to return the benefit it received under the terms of the contract. Fortunately, and this is a great asset for employees, the Sixth Circuit stated that « Title VII has just been created to combat a shortage in the market, namely inappropriate discrimination that has led the parties to unequal trading positions. » The court added that « we are concerned that recently dismissed workers will be forced to return their severance pay before they can assert their title VII rights, only to protect abused employers at the expense of legal protection for workers, at a time when these workers are the most economically vulnerable. » A lawyer will help you understand the length and breadth of such an agreement and let you know all the consequences of annexing your signature to it. But the only thing Jenna has won is the right to go back to the same court and say that she signed the severance agreement in unscrupulous or very unfair circumstances.
As such, it may still lose because it has signed the severance contract. When an organization has to lay off an employee or eliminate a job, the human resources department is usually involved in the decision-making process. HR discusses options with the division head and company management to determine the best way to let an employee go.