Older Workers Benefit Protection Act
An amendment to the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), the OWBPA is a federal law that requires employers to offer older workers (those who are at least 40 years old) benefits that are equal to or, in some cases, cost the employer as much as, the benefits it offers to younger workers. The OWBPA also sets minimum standards for an employee waiver of the right to sue for age discrimination, designed to ensure that the waiver is knowing and voluntary.
Category: Employment Law & HR → Employee Rights
Category: Employment Law & HR → Human Resources

Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary. . 2009.

Older Workers Benefit Protection Act
Older Workers Benefit Protection Act (OWBPA)
USA
A federal law amending the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) to prohibit age discrimination concerning older workers' employee benefits. It requires any employee agreement releasing an ADEA claim to be knowing and voluntary, which, at a minimum, means that it must:
• Be part of an agreement between the individual and the employer that is written in a manner calculated to be understood by the employee releasing it or the average individual eligible to participate.
• Specifically refer to rights or claims under the ADEA.
• Not waive the individual's rights or claims arising after the date the waiver is signed.
• Waive the individual's rights or claims only in exchange for consideration not already owed to the individual (see Practice Note, Conducting Layoffs and Other Reductions in Force: Severance Packages or Plans (www.practicallaw.com/9-502-6665) and Layoffs and Reductions in Force Checklist: Severance Considerations (www.practicallaw.com/3-500-4341)).
• Advises the individual in writing to consult with an attorney before signing the agreement.
•Provide the employee at least 21 days to consider the agreement before signing and an additional seven days to revoke the agreement if the termination is not part of an exit incentive or other employment termination program (including group layoffs).
•If the termination is part of an exit incentive or other employment termination program (two or more employees), the employee must have at least 45 days to consider the agreement before signing and an additional seven days to revoke the agreement. In either case, the agreement is not effective or enforceable until after the expiration of the revocation period.
•For an exit incentive or other employment termination program, include information about:
o any class, unit or group of individuals included in the program;
o any eligibility factors for the program;
o any time limits applicable to that program;
o job titles of all individuals eligible or selected for the program;
o ages of all individuals eligible or selected for the program; and
o ages of all individuals in the same job classification or organizational unit who are not eligible or selected for the program (no employee names should be included).
For more information on valid discrimination waivers under federal law, see the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's guidance in Understanding Waivers of Discrimination Claims in Employee Severance Agreements.

Practical Law Dictionary. Glossary of UK, US and international legal terms. . 2010.

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