Severance Agreements

News & Analysis as of

Federal Court Stops the EEOC’s Assault on CVS’s Severance Agreement

A federal court has tossed the EEOC’s controversial lawsuit against CVS seeking to invalidate its severance agreements. While the EEOC still has a similar lawsuit pending against another company in Colorado, employers can...more

EEOC's Attack On Severance Agreements Dealt Blow

As we noted earlier this year, the EEOC has begun filing legal challenges to relatively common provisions found in form severance agreements, based on the EEOC's belief that such language unlawfully interferes with employees'...more

United States: EEOC Challenges to Employer Separation Agreements

In Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. CVS Pharmacy, Inc., No. 14-cv-863 (N.D. Ill., February 7, 2014), the EEOC alleged that a severance agreement used by CVS Pharmacy, Inc. (“CVS”) violates Title VII of the Civil...more

How to Structure an Employee Severance Package Regarding COBRA and the ACA

Often, when parting ways with an employee, an employer may offer to pay for some months of COBRA continuation coverage so that the employee can remain covered without having to pay the substantial premiums associated with...more

Is a FLSA Collective Action Waiver by Itself in a Severance Agreement Enforceable? Sixth Circuit Says “No.”

Employers have recently enjoyed some victories in the U.S. Supreme Court and in the California Supreme Court regarding the use of class/collective action waivers in employment arbitration agreements (e.g. Italian Colors and...more

Watchdogs Petition SEC to Strengthen Prohibitions Against Impeding Complaints to SEC

On July 18, 2014, a coalition of plaintiff-side lawyers and government watchdog groups proposed ways to strengthen the SEC whistleblower program in two petitions filed with the SEC. The groups urged the SEC to update Rule...more

Rethinking COBRA After Health Care Reform

The Health Care Reform Act made many changes to health plans, but one thing it did not do was expressly eliminate or change the COBRA rules. Although health care reform does not expressly change COBRA, it does, in many ways,...more

Labor & Employment E-Note

In This Issue: - High Court to Hear Case on Pregnancy Accommodations - Supreme Court Says Some Employees Don't Have to Pay Union Fees - Recent Decision Leaves Questions About Religion in Hiring Process - NLRB...more

Severance Agreements: The New Lightning Rod

Remember 2010? Not that long ago, yet as of that year, employers could rest pretty comfortably at night knowing that their garden-variety workplace rules would instill peace and control at the plant, store, or office, not...more

Employment Flash (June 2014)

In This Issue: - NLRB Recess Appointments Unconstitutional - SEC Brings First-Ever Employment Retaliation Claim - EEOC Challenges Employer Severance Agreements - New York State Transportation Industry...more

EEOC Puts Severance Agreements In Its Crosshairs

It may be time to reassess what are widely considered to be standard provisions in your severance agreements. One of the EEOC’s latest initiatives is to target fairly routine provisions in severance agreements, including...more

In Quality Stores, the Supreme Court Holds that Severance Payments are Taxable FICA Wages

On March 25, 2014, the Supreme Court ruled 8-0 in favor of the government in the long-running Quality Stores litigation, holding that severance payments are taxable FICA wages, even if they fall within the category of...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - June 2014

Editor's Overview - In this month's issue, our authors address severance benefit claims and ERISA disclosure requirements. In our first article, Joe Clark addresses whether a plan administrator should conduct an...more

What Everyone Needs to Know About the Coordination of Severance Benefits, COBRA, and the ACA

In a common occurrence throughout corporate America, an employee terminates employment and as a result will lose company-provided health care coverage. To obtain health care coverage, the employee has two options: 1) elect...more

Hiring & Firing: What Does a Successful Separation Agreement Between Employer & Employee Look Like?

In light of recent lawsuits by the EEOC against companies with overly broad or misleading severance agreements, we asked our contributors: What exactly is a successful separation agreement between employer and employee?...more

Waivers of Age Discrimination Claims in Reduction in Force Cases Continue to Face Intense Scrutiny

A Federal court in Colorado recently permitted a former employee to advance an age discrimination claim despite his prior execution of a severance and release agreement after his employment ended in connection with a...more

Be Global - May 2014

HIGHLIGHTS: France: Finding a buyer before a shut down - the "Florange" law - As reported in February's Be Global, the French Government has introduced legislation (known as the "Florange" law) imposing an obligation...more

Is Your Standard Severance Agreement Subject to Challenge by the EEOC?

Many employers have a standard severance agreement that they routinely use with minor modification when terminating an employee either as part of a reduction-in-force or for performance or other reasons. Obviously, the major...more

Severance Agreements Under Attack by the EEOC

Two recent lawsuits filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) underscore the federal agency’s intent to continue, and even expand, its attack on severance agreements. Generally, a severance agreement offers...more

Avoiding a Severance Agreement Trap

This is a true and cautionary tale and one that can be readily avoided. You have finally completed negotiations with a problem employee you have wanted to get rid of and a severance agreement has been signed. The terms are...more

View From Proskauer: Investigating and Deciding Severance Benefits Claims

Plan administrators charged with administering Employee Retirement Income Security Act-governed severance plans are often confronted with the question of whether they should conduct an independent investigation into the...more

The EEOC Takes Aim, Once Again, at Employers’ Separation Agreements

On April 30, 2014, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed suit against a private college, charging for the second time in two months that an employer’s severance agreement was unlawful. The EEOC alleged that...more

Business Law Newsletter - May 2014

In This Issue: - Enforcing Oral Contracts: The Presumption is Against You - You’ve Been Served... A Lawsuit Via Facebook?!?! - Excerpt from Enforcing Oral Contracts: The Presumption is Against...more

Can An Employee Accept A Severance Payment And Still File A Discrimination Claim?

According to the EEOC, the answer to that question is not only “Yes,” but that any severance agreement which limits the employee’s right to file a charge of discrimination is unenforceable and illegal. This week, the EEOC...more

District Court Concludes Statute of Limitations Defense Must Be Asserted During Administrative Claims Process

Plan administrators sometimes are confronted with claims that appear untimely, but nevertheless focus solely on the substantive issue raised by the claim. A recent ruling from a federal district court in New Jersey suggests...more

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