Hello I am a licensed attorney here to help you with your question, please review my response and do not hesitate to ask for clarification
This does seem to be a way for the employer to terminate your spouse
the ADA would protect her,
the employer has to provide you with reasonable accommodations, if
you feel the employer can provide your spouse
some type of accommodation for her disability,
you can either file an EEOC discrimination case, and see if the employer will provide her with a better severance,
or consider having an attorney send a letter threatening an EEOC complaint,
and see if they will settle with you now
Discrimination/Harassment ï¿½ Local Offices of Federal Agency (EEOC)
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
You can file a complaint with the EEOC office located near you
If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to ask.
thank you. Will she still be eligible to file a EEOC complain even after signing a separation package? The separation package, as always, has an item about releasing all the claims against the company.
Did it state no claims of discrimination?
The law is not settled however your spouse can still file an EEOC complaint,
however if the case is not settled,
and you have to sue the employer in Court, any judgment given may be precluded by the release,
she may also have any award given to her reduced by the severance as well,
The EEOC issued a guide on how Waivers are enforced and have to be drafted,
you can review this at the link above
If she was a contract employee or part of a union, she may have other options such as a breach of contract, however since TX is an at will state,
an employee has limited rights except to make a claim of discrimination, to challenge a forced resignation or termination
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yes, the separation agreement states no claims against the list of laws/acts including ADA
the waiver would limit her from collecting in an eventual lawsuit against the employer,
however she could still file an EEOC complaint,
if she has signed a separation agreement with the waiver, make sure the waiver was draft as per the law,
if it was her legal rights would be limited in terms of collecting an award.
i'm sorry, what does it mean "the waiver was draft as per the law"? How would we know it is a draft?
you have to make sure the release was written as per the requirements of the law to be valid,
A valid waiver agreement must: 1. Offer some sort of consideration, such as additional compensation, in exchange for the employee’s waiver of the right to sue; 2. Be voluntary and based on informed consent; 3. Not require the employee to waive future rights; and 4. Comply with applicable state and federal laws.
The EEOC maintains that severance agreements in which an employee waives the right to file a discrimination charge with the EEOC violates the above provision and creates a chilling effect on the employee’s willingness to assist the EEOC in the investigation of a charge. The EEOC does acknowledge, however, that a severance agreement can legally include a provision under which an employee waives any right to recover monetary damages in a lawsuit. In other words, the EEOC’s position is that an employee cannot waive the right to file a claim with the EEOC, but the employee can waive the right to recover any damages
are there any documents (job description, etc) that we need to make sure to have in possession in case we decide to file a claim with EEOC?
you would have to show that the employer knew of her disability, and failed to provide her reasonable accommodations,
and that the job position can be handled by her, with some sort of simple accommodations,
the job advertisement as well will help you
do you mean the job advertisement would help to access potential payout?
yes, also to show that travel was not an essential part of the job
ok, thank you. last question - "having an attorney send a letter threatening an EEOC complaint" sounds like an easier first step to test the waters. Would you be able to give an idea how many hours an attorney would bill to draft such a letter?
I would expect 2-5 hours for a letter,
you should contact a local attorney to send the letter and negotiate the severance as well,
The employer may offer her a larger amount,
right, it's just that her last day is tomorrow and she'll sign a separation agreement with a waiver being a part of that agreement. So, any legal actions will have to be taken after the waiver had been signed
ok, thank you and good night
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