MoFo News Item

EEOC Publishes Final Regulations Interpreting Requirements for Waivers of Federal Age Discrimination Claims

6/1/1998

In a recent Employment Law Commentary, Vol. 10, No. 2 (April 1998) we discussed Oubre v. Entergy Operations, ____ U.S. ____, 118 S.Ct. 838 (1998), in which the U. S. Supreme Court held that a release of federal age discrimination claims is ineffective if the release does not comply with the specific requirements of the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act of 1990 ("OWBPA"), Pub. L. No. 101-433, 104 Stat. 983 (1990), even where the former employee keeps the money paid for the release. We also outlined in that Commentary some of the requirements for an effective release. Subsequent to the Oubre decision, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") published final regulations which address these requirements in greater detail. The regulations became effective July 6, 1998. 63 Fed. Reg. 30624 (June 6, 1998). In this Commentary, we discuss these new regulations.

For any release of claims under the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Pub. L. No. 90-202, 81 Stat. 602 (1967) ("ADEA") to be effective, OWBPA requires that the waiver be "knowing and voluntary". 29 U.S.C. §6216(f)(1). How this requirement is met depends on the context in which the waiver is obtained. For waivers that are not part of a termination program (referred to below as "individual waivers"), OWBPA imposes one set of requirements. For waivers obtained in connection with "an exit incentive or other termination program," OWBPA imposes not only more stringent requirements for the release, but also elaborate disclosure requirements regarding the termination program itself. Determining when a termination is part of a "program" and, if it is, what kind of information to disclose are two of the key issues addressed by the new regulations. In what follows, we discuss the new regulations first as they pertain to individual waivers and then as they pertain to "termination programs."

If you are interested in receiving the full text of this publication, please send an e-mail request to info@mofo.com.

Close

Feedback

Disclaimer

Unsolicited e-mails and information sent to Morrison & Foerster will not be considered confidential, may be disclosed to others pursuant to our Privacy Policy, may not receive a response, and do not create an attorney-client relationship with Morrison & Foerster. If you are not already a client of Morrison & Foerster, do not include any confidential information in this message. Also, please note that our attorneys do not seek to practice law in any jurisdiction in which they are not properly authorized to do so.