Age Bias Action Expanded

An employee who accepts severance pay to retire because he or she feels "pressured" to quit can still sue the company for age bias. The decision last month by the U.S. Supreme Court stated clearly an employer cannot use an employee's failure to return the severance pay "as a way of excusing its own failure to comply" with laws against age discrimination, said Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy. The decision reinstates an age-bias lawsuit by Delores Oubre, who quit her job at Entergy Operations Inc.'s nuclear power plant in 1995, and argued that the waiver she had signed not to sue was not signed "knowing and voluntary" as the law requires. (She found out later that she was the only person in her job classification, over 40, to be pressured to leave during a workforce downsizing).

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