As part of a termination, RIF, resignation or lay-off program incentive, an employer may ask an employee to waive certain rights or claims under the ADEA either in a settlement, administrative proceeding or court claim. The ADEA requires that certain minimum standards be met in order for the waiver to be considered voluntary, knowing and thus, valid. The ADEA waiver must:
- Be in writing and understandable;
- Specifically refer to ADEA rights or claims;
- Not waive rights or claims that may arise in the future;
- Be in exchange for valuable consideration;
- Advise the individual in writing to consult an attorney before signing it; and
- Provide the individual at least 21 days to consider the agreement and at least seven days to revoke the agreement after signing it.
If an employer requests an ADEA waiver in connection with an exit incentive program or other employment termination program, the minimum requirements for a valid waiver are more extensive.