When Fort Lauderdale police officers sued the city, they claimed an early retirement offered to older workers violated the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). The grounds: that a release the city asks the departing officers to sign illegally makes retirees relinquish all claims against the city.
In their complaint, the officers claimed that ADEA rights could not be waived away under federal law. Then they made the bizarre argument that the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act backed their argument.
The city, of course, moved to have the case dismissed.
When it was done scratching its head, the court agreed with the city, pointing out that the Ledbetter law does not apply to the ADEA.
Note: You can’t always count on someone suing you under the wrong law. If you want employees to sign any kind of rights waiver, first run it past an employment attorney who knows the law. Some federal laws, such as the , do restrict employees’ abilities to waive their rights. A competent attorney will know what waivers can and cannot do, and what they should say.
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