Check settlement agreements for precise ADEA language

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

When an employee promises not to sue for age discrimination and accepts money in exchange for that promise, he can revoke that agreement unless it contains some very specific language. But the revocation can only apply to the age discrimination claims, not others. Those remain settled.

Recent case: Adolph agreed to accept $5,000 to settle all discrimination claims against his former em­­ployer. The agreement didn’t contain the proper Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) notices. Five days later, Adolph decided to return the check and revoke the agreement so he could again pursue his claims. However, he wasn’t contesting the ADEA deficiencies; he planned to argue that the settlement violated a union contract.

The court said he couldn’t revoke the settlement on those grounds. Now he can’t pursue any claims. (Brown v. Chevron Philips Chemical Company, No. 11-2896, SD TX, 2013)

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