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Expertise - Best Employment Lawyers in Santa Clara 2021
Expertise - Best Employment Lawyers in Santa Clara 2022

Complexities of the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act

Older Workers Benefit Protection ActAs baby-boomers retire, Gen X managers take the reins of many companies, and millennials are hired each day, questions often arise regarding age discrimination. It may sound strange that Gen X, the grunge-rock generation of people born between 1961 and 1981, could suffer from age discrimination, but employers should be aware that the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act, or OWBPA, covers all employees over the age of 40. The OWBPA guarantees all employees aged 40 or older benefits such as severance pay and protection from being pressured into signing severance agreements. Employers frequently come to us after a former employee files an OWBPA claim; all too often, these claims were avoidable if the employer had simply attained advice before taking employment action.

Do you need experienced business and human resources counsel to guide you through a challenging workplace situation? You can avoid severe business disruption by proactively contacting experienced counsel before a layoff or termination. For a free initial consultation, contact SAC Attorneys LLP today at (408) 436-0789.

How the OWBPA Affects Employers Seeking to End an Older Workers’ Employment

As an overview, the OWBPA prevents employers from (1) Using an employee’s age as grounds for termination; (2) Targeting older workers for layoffs, early retirement plans, or reductions in force; (3) Forcing workers 40 or over to sign a waiver of age discrimination claims without consideration. To avoid allegations that an employer violated one of those three prohibitions, always attain legal help to draft an OWBPA-compliant release before ending the employment of an employee aged 40 or older. An OWBPA-compliant release will always be written, use simple language, encourage the employee to attain his or her own legal advice regarding signing the release, and provide 21 days for consideration of the release and an additional seven days to revoke their consent. Separate consideration, or benefits, must support the worker signing the release. SAC Attorneys LLP often sees unearned bonus money, unearned vacation or sick pay, extended health benefits, and relocation expenses used as consideration to support these agreements. Determining whether your proposed employment action, accompanying release, and supporting consideration are legally sufficient requires a complex legal analysis. Call SAC Attorneys LLP before taking any steps.

Layoffs, Retirement Incentives, and Other Group Actions Affected by the OWBPA

If a layoff or retirement incentive program is going to affect two or more employees over 40 years old, special requirements apply. The rationale behind these requirements is that older workers deserve to know whether the layoff is aimed at older workers and whether they are being treated fairly. As a result, the OWBPA requires the employer to provide affected employees over 40 with information regarding all employees that were offered severance packages and were asked to sign a release of age discrimination claims. Specifically, the employer must detail ages and job titles of all the employees being terminated, the ages of all employees being retained, and any eligibility factors and time limits applicable for the termination this offer. Instead of the usual 21 day consideration period discussed above, these employees involved in a group action receive 45 days to consider any termination offer made to them.

Attain the Human Resources Counsel You Need Today

How should your company proceed if layoffs are on the horizon and your workforce contains employees over 40 years old? If you mishandle the termination, layoff, or retirement program, you will likely face legal claims brought under the OWBPA. Attain expert legal counsel now.

For a free initial consultation, contact SAC Attorneys LLP today at (408) 436-0789. Based in San Jose, California, the firm represents clients in Silicon Valley, San Jose, Mountain View, Los Gatos, Cupertino, Fremont, Palo Alto, Santa Clara County, and around the world.


Client Reviews
Mr. Cai Is a Diligent Attorney. My sister and I were defendants in a civil litigation case. We hired James Cai and his law firm, SAC Attorneys LLP. Mr. Cai is a diligent attorney and responded to our questions in a timely fashion. He and his staff were very helpful in keeping us informed of the proceedings of the case and in explaining each step. Mr. Cai is also very conscientious of fees and costs, and avoided unnecessary charges. The results of the Summary Adjudication sided with us. The Court Trial resulted in the “Final Statement of Decision” and “Judgment after Court Trial” overwhelmingly siding with us. Cynthia F.
I Am Truly Impressed. After spending a significant amount of time, money and efforts with my previous counsel at a larger law firm without getting meaningful results, I transferred my employment matter to SAC Attorneys LLP. The attorneys there were able to understand the complex situations of my case and put together an aggressive litigation strategy. We were able to file a compelling complaint within a week and forced the opposing party, which was represented by one of the largest law firms in California, to make a substantial settlement offer shortly thereafter. I am truly impressed by the no nonsense and results oriented approach by SAC Attorneys LLP attorneys. A job well done! X. Gao
They Took Time to Understand Our Technology. I am the founder of a bioinformatics start-up in the Silicon Valley and chose SAC Attorneys LLP as our corporate counsels. Their attorneys have great experience with high tech start-ups and were able to offer a highly competitive service plan while not sacrificing a bit of their quality of services. They took time to understand our technology and provided value added services by introducing investors and job candidates to us. We regard our attorneys at SAC Attorneys LLP not only as our legal advisors but also our venture partners. Dr. Pete S.