Is age just a number? Lessons from Jay Leno’s departure

I’m beginning to feel my age. Last night, a good friend celebrated a milestone birthday (I won’t say which milestone, but you can probably guess). His wife asked everyone to come in 1970s garb or as a character from the decade, so I went as J.R. Ewing. Our babysitter (born in 1995) had no idea […]

Invalid Releases Mean Employees Keep Money and Still Sue

Releases of claims under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) are typically part of ERIPs, but they have to be carefully drafted and managed say the attorneys. If they are not, employees probably can keep the money and still sue you. Anderson, a member of Miller & Martin PLLC in Nashville, Tennessee, and Maxwell, […]

High Salary + RIF = Age Discrimination Claim

By Robert P. Tinnin, Jr. Q As a result of the economic downturn, we must lay off approximately half of our workforce. In considering whom we should select, it occurs to me that we could save the most money by laying off higher-salaried, nonmanagement employees. However, our higher-salaried employees tend to have the most seniority […]

EEOC Guidance on Waivers in Severance Agreements

by Susan W. Kline Recent economic conditions have caused a number of employers to reduce staff. In response to this trend, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency that enforces Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), has […]

Incentive Packages Must Comply with OWBPA

by Susan Hartmus Hiser Q: Our company is downsizing its operations, and we would like to offer an incentive package to certain employees as an inducement to leave voluntarily. If we do, can we obtain a release of all claims from the employees who accept the incentive package? HR Guide to Employment Law: A practical […]

Avoiding Legal Pitfalls During RIFs and When Reducing Workers’ Hours

by John Vering On Oct. 3, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ reported that over the past 12 months, the number of unemployed has increased by 2.2 million and the unemployment rate has risen by 1.4 percentage points. Total nonfarm payroll employment decreased by 159,000 in September and thus far in 2008, payroll employment has […]

Reducing the Risk of Wrongful Discharge Claims During Layoffs

by Kara Shea In a previous article, I discussed the risks of some of the methods employers use to forestall layoffs (such as adjusting hours and compensation). This week, I’m going to assume the worst has happened and talk you through a layoff scenario, with the goal of reducing the risk of wrongful discharge claims […]

Lordy, Lordy, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act Turns 40

by Boyd A. Byers Forty is a mystical number in many cultures. In ancient Babylonia, the number was known as kissatuin, meaning “the excellent quantity.” The great flood described in the Bible resulted from 40 days and 40 nights of rain. Forty is the only number, when spelled out in English, whose letters are in […]