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Two May Be a ‘Group’ Under OWBPA

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

Q. I know that the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act (OWBPA) requires that I provide an employee who has been discharged as part of a “group” termination at least 45 days to consider the terms of a release waiving his or her rights under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). How many employees constitute a “group”? —N.W., Pennsylvania

A. That term is defined nowhere in the statute and regulations but has been interpreted to mean more than one. So, if more than one employee has been terminated and is being offered a severance package that includes a release of the employee's rights under the ADEA, these employees must be given at least 45 days to consider the terms of the agreement for it to be enforceable.

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