By: John E. Murray
In February the EEOC filed a lawsuit challenging the separation agreements used by CVS Pharmacy. Those agreements require employees to notify CVS if they become part of an administrative investigation by the EEOC or its state counterparts. The agreements also prohibited employees from disparaging the company or its officers, directors, or employees. According to the EEOC, these agreements unduly limited employees’ right to file claims with the EEOC, to participate in EEOC investigations, or to participate in litigation initiated by the EEOC.
The EEOC has consistently claimed that even if an employee signs a separation agreement with a release of claims, the employee may file a charge with the EEOC, participate in an EEOC investigation, or participate in a claim filed by the EEOC. The release simply prevents the employee from recovering any damages.
Based on the EEOC’s lawsuit against CVS, employers should review their standard severance/separation agreements to make sure they meet the EEOC’s requirements. If you have concerns about your agreements, feel free to contact any of the attorneys at Lindner & Marsack.