What Are Your Rights if You Believe Your Employment is Being Terminated Based on Age?

What Are Your Rights if You Believe Your Employment is Being Terminated Based on Age?

Long Island Age Discrimination Lawyers Review Severance

Age discrimination attorneys, like the ones at Leeds Brown, help workers on Long Island and throughout the New York City metropolitan area to ensure that their severance packages, especially when presented to employees over 40, are fair and in compliance with the law. While there are exceptions, most states, including New York, have what is called “at-will” employment. Under the doctrine of at-will employment, a worker can quit a job at any time, for any reason. An employer may also fire an individual at any time, for any reason that is not unlawful, such as age discrimination. Most of the time, the employment relationship ends, and the parties go their separate ways.

There are occasions, however, when an employer offers or an employee seeks severance pay. Before receiving severance, the employee is almost always required to sign a long, complex agreement. It is imperative to have help reviewing such an agreement, especially if you are an older worker. Your agreement likely contains a waiver of legal rights, and you should not sign it until you are confident that you are not experiencing age discrimination. If you have the right to file a claim under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), you should understand your options before waiving that right.

Ask yourself, are you being “forced” to retire because of your age? If so, your right to recover damages under the law may be worth more than the amount of the severance agreement. You may not want to waive the right to pursue an age discrimination claim, and if you already have, there may still be recourse.

At Leeds Brown, we can review your severance agreement and leave you feeling confident that you have dedicated advocates working to protect your right to fair and equal treatment. When we consider your job history, we may find facts that indicate you are experiencing age discrimination, unlawful termination, or coercion into signing something that significantly and unreasonably limits your legal rights. Attorneys in New York knowledgeable about age discrimination have the skill and professionalism to review and negotiate a severance agreement that appropriately reflects the terms you deserve.

Older Workers Benefit Protection Act Supports the Rights of Workers Over 40

Congress enacted the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act (OWBPA) as one way to protect workers from being unfairly pressured into signing away their rights to file age discrimination claims against employers. As employees age and spend more years working for a company, their salaries and benefits rise. Some companies try to give these employees incentives to retire and use severance packages for this purpose. The workers are usually over 40 and are sometimes the victims of employers seeking to save costs and tighten their budgets. OWBPA ensures that severance packages for workers 40 and older are not masking age discrimination. Age discrimination is not often blatant.

Under the rules of OWBPA, an employee can only waive his or her rights to file an age discrimination claim if the severance and waiver are in full compliance with the statutory requirements. The OWBPA requires that an employee receives a minimum of 21 days to review any separation agreement before signing. The employee must get at least seven days to revoke the signature.

Why are age discrimination claims given special treatment? The OWBPA reflects the importance of ensuring that older workers receive treatment that is fair and equal to the treatment of their younger counterparts. The law gives employees ample time to have an age discrimination and severance attorney review the paperwork. If needed, employees can refuse to sign the waiver and decide instead to file an age discrimination claim. Alternatively, they can negotiate better terms that reflect the actual value of their waiver.

Age Discrimination Attorneys Protect Employees from Unlawful Discrimination on Long Island

Because age discrimination can be subtle, workers over 40 receive extra protection from unfair employment practices. Our firm can review your severance agreement and clarify your rights and options. We can explain and negotiate waivers of discrimination claims and other terms of your agreement including;

  • Health benefits
  • Confidentiality clauses
  • Applicable law
  • Non-compete clauses
  • Re-employment issues
  • Non-disparagement clauses
  • Confidentiality agreements
  • Trade secrets
  • Employment references
  • Unemployment benefits
  • Other employment benefits
  • Consequences of violating the agreement

Contact Us

Leeds Brown has age discrimination professionals to review your severance agreement before you sign away your valuable rights. We can ensure that you make an informed decision and that you receive the full amount to which you are entitled before you waive your legal claims. We can thoroughly investigate the circumstances of your employment and help determine if your employer is breaking the law. If you are over 40, your employer has obligations to fulfill when presenting you with a severance agreement. Hold them accountable and enforce your rights.

Our lawyers on Long Island have been handling employment discrimination cases throughout the New York metro region for decades and have a deep understanding of age discrimination and severance laws. We know the right questions to ask to determine if your employer is trying to terminate your employment unlawfully or take away important legal rights.

Time may be of the essence in your particular case, and you don’t want to waste another day wondering if you should sign your agreement or revoke your signature. Make sure that you are receiving the compensation you deserve and have Leeds Brown review your severance or employment agreement. You may be entitled to more than you think.

Leeds Brown has someone to take your call 24/7. Contact our office to discuss your severance agreement, age discrimination claim, and the right to receive fair treatment from your employer. Call 1-800-585-4658 for a free consultation. Don’t let another day pass. Protect yourself and your rights by calling today.

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Shortly after beginning medical school, I experienced some academic difficulties. After seeing my physicians, I was diagnosed with ADHD. After I started receiving specific treatment for ADHD, I requested the school to accommodate me for the disability as recommended by my physician. One of the requests made was for extended time to take my exams. The extension of time was granted...

~Kenneth Broodo, Esq.

Partner at Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP
I hired Lenard Leeds, Esq. to assist me with my wrongful termination. I was let go of my position because of my age. I was not only told to take a decrease in pay but also required to work fewer hours to do the same job. Additionally, they kept asking me “When are you going to retire?” I visited the...


I want to thank you again for assisting me in overseeing my issues with my employer. This is the second time I have used Lenard Leeds, Esq. to fight for me. This time I was a National Sales Manager of a drug company, where acts of discrimination based on my age, national origin and retaliation took place. Mr. Leeds and...

~Law Professor

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