Is it legal for a company to require signing an ADEA form?

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Question:

I got hired at a company several years ago and when I signed the initial employment paperwork, I apparently signed an adea rights waiver. I guess this means that I waived by rights to sue for age discrimination? Is it legal for a company to have a requirement to sign an ADEA form and can I not sue for age discrimination since they fired me and I believe it was because I am getting older?

Answer:

A company is legally permitted to have you sign an ADEA rights waiver. However, there are certain legal rules a company must meet before asking you to sign such a rights waiver. For example, the document must be written in plain language and understandable. The company has to give up at least 21 days to think about the agreement before you sign it and they have to give you the opportunity to change your mind for seven days after. Furthermore, they also need to advise you in writing to consult an attorney, and the ADEA rights waiver can ask you only to waive claims that already exist, not claims that exist in the future. Given the way in which you describe the signing of the document and the requirement to sign the ADEA form, it is unlikely that the rights waiver is valid. Therefore, it should not preclude you from taking action. If you believe you were the victim of age discrimination, you should consult an experienced age discrimination attorney who can help you determine your best course of action.

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