Severance Agreements

News & Analysis as of

EEOC’s Attempt to Limit Reach of Severance Agreements Hits Roadblock… Again

A federal judge in Colorado has once again stymied the EEOC’s efforts to successfully challenge an employer’s standard separation agreement as violating the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.  The decision in Equal...more

2014 EEOC Year In Review: Lots Of Action, Mixed Results

2014 has been a notable year for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The agency has initiated historic litigation, issued significant new guidance and signaled increased scrutiny of background checks and...more

SEC’s 2014 Report on Dodd-Frank Whistleblowing Program: Key Takeaways and Trends Companies Should Expect for 2015

On November 17, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission issued its 2014 Annual Report to Congress on the Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Program and it is clear that the program is going strong. Following are six key takeaways...more

Don't Let the OWBPA Put a Rift in Your RIF

Are you considering a reduction in force (RIF) that includes a severance package for employees? Are some of the employees included in the RIF over the age of 40? Before you take another step, make sure you know the...more

How Should Employers Draft Severance Agreements Post-CVS?

Last month, a federal judge in Illinois dismissed a lawsuit brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission contending that a standard release agreement used by the CVS drugstore chain violated the anti-retaliation...more

EEOC Lawsuit Against CVS Pharmacy Challenging Severance Agreements Dismissed

On October 7, 2014, District Judge John Darrah of the North District of Illinois dismissed the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s lawsuit against CVS Pharmacy. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. CVS Pharmacy,...more

Judge in Chicago Dismisses EEOC Suit Challenging CVS Health’s Severance Agreements

As we reported earlier this year (EEOC Files Suit Over Separation Agreement Language), the Chicago District Office of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed suit against CVS Pharmacy alleging that the...more

EEOC Challenge to CVS Severance Agreement Dismissed Due to Agency’s Failure to Engage in Conciliation

Late last year the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) sued CVS in the Northern District of Illinois claiming that the retail pharmacy’s standard form severance agreement and release violated Title...more

Federal Court Dismissal of EEOC Suit Leaves Employers Hanging

In a closely watched ruling, an Illinois federal district court handed a victory to one particular employer, but ducked a broader ruling that would have provided general guidance to companies generally that are trying to...more

Federal Court Notes Flaws in EEOC Stance on Severance Agreements

In a closely watched case, a federal district court questioned the stance of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) that a severance agreement and general release of claims offered to employees can violate...more

Court Dismisses EEOC’s Controversial Severance Agreement Lawsuit

As we reported in February 2014, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sued CVS Pharmacy in federal court in Chicago on a novel theory that the company’s standard separation agreement unlawfully deterred departing...more

Federal Court Dismisses EEOC Lawsuit Challenging CVS Severance Agreement and Release

Employers can begin to breathe a sigh of relief after a federal judge last week dismissed a lawsuit brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against the CVS drug store chain. In the lawsuit, the EEOC took an...more

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

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

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

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