If you are over 40 years old and have been laid off or fired from your job, you may be offered a severance agreement from your former employer. This type of agreement is common in the workplace and serves as a legal contract that outlines the terms and conditions of your departure, including any financial compensation you may receive.
However, if you are a member of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), you may have some additional rights and protections. SHRM is a professional organization for human resource professionals, and its members are bound by a code of ethics that includes a commitment to fair and equitable treatment of employees.
If you are over 40 and have received a severance agreement from an SHRM member, there are a few key things to keep in mind:
1. You are protected by the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). This federal law prohibits age discrimination in the workplace, including in the terms and conditions of employment. If you believe that you have been discriminated against based on your age, you may be able to file a claim under the ADEA.
2. Your severance agreement must comply with the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act (OWBPA). This law requires that employers provide certain disclosures and waivers in severance agreements offered to employees over 40 years old. Specifically, you must be given at least 21 days to review the agreement, and you must be provided with a list of other employees who were offered the same agreement but chose not to sign it.
3. Your agreement may include a release of claims. This means that you agree not to sue your former employer for any claims related to your employment or termination in exchange for the severance payment. However, this does not mean that you waive your right to file a claim under the ADEA or other applicable laws.
Overall, if you are over 40 and have been offered a severance agreement from an SHRM member, it is important to carefully review the agreement and consult with an attorney if necessary. By understanding your rights and protections, you can ensure that you are being treated fairly and equitably in the workplace.