Hasty retirement benefits offer may show retaliation

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

Before offering a retirement package that’s contingent on giving up the right to sue, make sure you comply with the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act (OWBPA) requirements. That includes giving the employee time to review the agreement and talk to a lawyer.

Recent case: Alice was offered a retirement package after complaining about discrimination. In return, she would have to give up her right to have an attorney review it.

She declined the offer and sued, alleging the mere offer was retaliation for complaining about bias.

At trial, she wanted the jury to know what the OWBPA required, including the right to take time to review the offer with an attorney’s assistance. She initially lost that bid, but now the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed the decision. (Robin v. Mon­­rovia, No. 11-55131, 9th Cir., 2013)

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