To constitute an effective waiver of claims under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act ("ADEA"), a release must comply with the requirements of the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act ("OWBPA"), which include providing employees with a 21 or 45-day period in which to consider the releases and a 7-day period in which to revoke the releases. A release that fails to comply with these requirements will not constitute a valid waiver of an age discrimination claim under the ADEA. In Baker v. Washington Group International, a group of laid-off workers, while not trying to invalidate their defective OWBPA releases or assert claims of age discrimination, asserted causes of action solely based upon the employer's failure to comply with the requirements of the OWBPA. A Pennsylvania federal court ruled that the employer's failure to comply with the release requirements set forth in the OWBPA did not create an independent cause of action for damages and dismissed the action.
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Employees cannot sue for damages based on non-compliant OWBPA releases
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