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Ask Dimitry K., Esq. Your Own Question
Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 41221
Experience:  I provide employment and discrimination law advice in my own practice.
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Okay I 't know how this works, so we'll see how far this

Customer Question

Okay I don't know how this works, so we'll see how far this goes.
I have been an employee of a local (state chartered) bank for over ten years. Initially I was full-time (for about five years). The bank went through a restructuring around 2008, and I was reduced to half-time (there also were layoffs by attrition prior to this and full layoffs at the time).
I went to work part-time for another organization at the time, to maintain my full-time employment status.
Late this spring, the bank announced that the Board had sold the bank to an interstate holding company with a subsidiary bank in my state of employment/residence (New Mexico). About half of the bank's employees, including me, were offerred severance packages. My severance, unfortunately, was calculated as though I were a part-time employee for my 10-year+ employment.
I was required to stay in my job through Aug 7 as a condition of receiving this severance.
Recently, bank employees were informed that the merger (purchase) had been delayed for two weeks. Some of those of us who were asked to leave Aug 7 were told verbally that we now have to stay until the end of the merger (presumably Aug 21) and that we will have to sign a new severance agreement. I have been told that my new severance agreement may not be available until Aug 21 (although apparently the currently severance agreement is still in force). Also, presumably, this new agreement will be under "NM statute." I was told that only employees over 40 years of age would have to sign new agreements.
Much obfuscation, lack of information. My question is, what is it about severance agreement in NM that would require that only people over 40 years of age sign new agreements?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.
I am going to guess that this has to do with the DEA, or the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. This Act essentially states that employers cannot discriminate, discipline, hire, fire, or in any way treat employees who are 40 or older differently than those who are younger. In other words if you are offered severance and they offer your job to a 30 year but you have similar or even better experience and education, that is arguably an ADEA violation. Typically for 40+ employees companies offer additional severance where they agree to receive the additional funds in exchange for not suing or claiming that this was an ADEA based termination or severance.
Dimitry, Esq.