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Separation agreement protects employer from age bias claim

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Hiring,Human Resources

A 55-year-old employee whose job was eliminated in a company restructuring recently lost his age-discrimination case before the 6th Circuit Court. Reason: He had signed a separation agreement waiving all claims against the company.

After his termination, the employee responded to numerous openings at the company but wasn’t rehired. He threatened to sue for age discrimination, noting that the company was rehiring younger workers, some to fulfill the duties of his former job.

But the company went to court armed with the employee’s signed contract and asked it to interpret the terms. The court ruled that an employee who agrees in writing to release his employer from any liability for age discrimination can’t turn around and apply for a new job, then raise age discrimination when he’s not rehired.  

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