AB 749 Severance Agreements: What You Need to Know
AB 749 is a new law in California that prohibits employers from requiring employees to sign waivers that prevent them from bringing certain kinds of claims in the future. This includes claims of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. This law applies to all employment agreements, including severance agreements.
What Does AB 749 Do?
AB 749 makes it illegal for employers to include provisions in their severance agreements that prohibit employees from filing certain claims against the company. Specifically, the law prohibits employers from requiring employees to agree to any provision that waives their right to file a claim under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) or other state statutes prohibiting discrimination, harassment, or retaliation.
This means that an employer cannot offer a severance payment to an employee in exchange for the employee signing a waiver of their rights under the FEHA. The employee must be allowed to file a claim under the FEHA if they believe they have been the victim of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation.
Why Was AB 749 Enacted?
AB 749 was enacted to protect employees from being forced to waive their rights to file claims against their employers. The law was based on the idea that an employee`s right to file a claim under the FEHA should not be waived, no matter what the circumstances. Employers should not be able to use their financial power to force employees to give up their legal rights.
What Happens if an Employer Violates AB 749?
If an employer violates AB 749, the employee can file a lawsuit against the employer. The employee can seek monetary damages, as well as injunctive relief to prevent the employer from continuing to require employees to sign a waiver of their rights under the FEHA.
How Does AB 749 Affect Employers?
Employers must ensure that their severance agreements comply with AB 749. This means that employers cannot require employees to sign a waiver that would prevent them from filing a claim under the FEHA or other state anti-discrimination, harassment, or retaliation laws.
Employers should also review their existing severance agreements to ensure they comply with AB 749. Any language in the agreement that violates AB 749 should be removed.
AB 749 is an important law that protects employees` rights to file claims under the FEHA and other state anti-discrimination, harassment, or retaliation laws. Employers must ensure that their severance agreements comply with this law, or they could face litigation and financial penalties. If you are an employer in California, it is essential to consult with an experienced attorney to ensure compliance with AB 749.