Severance Agreements

News & Analysis as of

How to Avoid Being the Next Casualty in the EEOC’s War on Employee Separation Agreements

In its current Strategic Enforcement Plan, the U. S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission says that it is fed up with and will target employer “policies and practices that discourage or prohibit individuals from exercising...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

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

Act Now Advisory: Changes to New York State's Unemployment Insurance Laws May Affect Employers' Severance Procedures and How...

In response to a federal mandate requiring states to restructure their unemployment insurance ("UI") laws to reduce government spending on UI benefits, New York State has amended its law in a way that may cause New York...more

Eleventh Circuit Holds that Terminated Employee Can Waive FMLA Claims Through the Date of a Release

In a victory for common sense, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently determined that an employee could not pursue Family and Medical Leave (FMLA) interference and retaliation claims against her former employer...more

Employment Alert

In This Issue: EEOC's Latest Target - Severance Agreements; Pennsylvania's Unemployment Compensation Law May Require Employers to Provide Response to Unemployment Information Requests; and Supreme Court Clarifies that...more

The EEOC's Latest Target – Severance Agreements

Employers have long offered employees severance or other post-employment benefits in exchange for a waiver and general release of claims. Agreements of this kind often help make a difficult separation somewhat easier. By...more

New York, Unemployment, and Severance Agreements

Before offering severance to a departing employee, New York employers should be aware of recent changes to the New York unemployment insurance law. These changes may affect both the timing and language of the severance...more

Monthly Benefits Update

As expected, the Department of the Treasury and the IRS (the “Agencies”) finalized the employer information reporting requirements under the Affordable Care Act (the “ACA”) earlier this month. The final rules, which are...more

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