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Use new EEOC guidance to review severance agreements

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in Employment Law,Firing,Human Resources

by Laurie Knocke, Esq.

Employers have a new primer from the EEOC on how to craft legally compliant severance agreements. Although Understanding Waivers of Discrimination Claims in Employee Severance Agreements was designed to answer employee questions about severance agreements, it offers useful guidance to employers, too.

Most severance agreements ask employees to waive their right to sue for discrimination in exchange for receiving severance pay.

One of the most important points the EEOC makes: The validity of a severance agreement is determined from the employee’s perspective, not the employer’s.

Can employees understand it?

If an employee challenges a severance agreement in court, the question will not be, “What did the employer intend?” Instead, the court will seek answers to, “What would the average employee reasonably understand from the agreement?”

Employers and their counsel need to review their agreements and make ...(register to read more)

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