Separation Agreements

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    How an employee termination or layoff is handled on the front end can make all the difference in how the separation actually takes place. A well-executed, carefully planned termination can minimize problems and legal risks. A poorly executed, shoot-from-the-hip approach, on the other hand, can cost an employer dearly in terms of...

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    For years, employers executing separation agreements with departing employees have known that provisions that purport to prevent employees from filing charges or claims with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) are unenforceable. Employers have also known that the EEOC has taken the position that such provisions amount to retaliation...
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    Two related opinions from the Connecticut Supreme Court reinforce the rights employees enjoy under the Connecticut Workers' Compensation Act (WCA) and provide important guidance for employers seeking to obtain releases of workers' compensation claims. Both cases arose from a dispute between Stephen Leonetti and his former employer, MacDermid...
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    The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) thinks so. The EEOC is aggressively filing lawsuits against employers that include charge-waiving language in their separation agreements. Whether the employer actually engaged in unlawful retaliation depends on many factors, such as whether it enforced the charge-waiving language...
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    The town of Cicero sued its former police superintendent for violating the confidentiality provision in his severance agreement after he made statements to the media. But was the talkative former cop within his rights? Read on to learn what an Illinois appellate court decided. Good cop, ex-cop Wayne Johnson was...
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    In this multipart series, we've been examining the do's and don'ts of various aspects of severance agreements. Last month, we discussed how to draft an effective agreement that includes an enforceable release of age claims under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. This month, we take a look at the Family and Medical Leave Act...
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    Terminations often present lawsuit risks. Separation and settlement agreements can reduce those risks by negotiating away a former employee's legal avenues and clarifying the reasons for the firing. Before you can decide if a particular situation warrants such a document, and what your severance agreements should contain, be sure you understand...
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    Separation pay is ubiquitous. It's paid as a posttermination benefit under employment agreements and written severance plans as well as unwritten programs, practices, and other arrangements. Until Section 409A was added to the Internal Revenue Code, few thought of it as "deferred compensation." But under Section 409A, if a legally...
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    Many employers offer severance or separation packages to employees, and in return, they often require the employees to sign separation agreements that release them from any potential liability for claims the employees may assert relating to their employment or separation from employment. As is common with most contracts,...
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    More than a simple signature is needed for an employee to waive rights related to employee benefit plans. The law insists that a waiver must be knowing and voluntary. A recent court decision by a federal court in Connecticut demonstrates what factors are evaluated to see if a waiver was knowing and voluntary. The waiver...
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