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OWBPA California Employment Lawyer: Understanding Older Workers Benefit Protection Act

ADEA'S Protections and California Employment Laws - How They Safeguard Aging Workers from Discrimination In The Workplace

Older Workers Benefit Protection Act Lawyer

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) is a federal law prohibiting discrimination against employees or job applicants over 40. The ADEA also established the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act (OWBPA) in 1990, which provides additional protections for older workers.


In addition, in California, employment laws offer other protections for older workers. This article will explore the OWBPA, its provisions, and California employment laws protecting older workers.

What is the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act?


The OWBPA is an amendment to the ADEA that specifically addresses the treatment of older workers in the context of benefits and employment contracts. The OWBPA prohibits employers from discriminating against older workers regarding benefits, such as health insurance, retirement benefits, and severance packages.


It also requires employers to provide certain information to older workers when they are asked to sign a waiver or release of legal claims. It's always a good idea to consult with an OWBPA California Employment Lawyer to protect your rights.


Provisions of the OWBPA

The OWBPA has several key provisions that protect older workers. These include:

  1. Waivers and Releases: When an employer asks an older worker to sign a waiver or release of legal claims, the OWBPA requires the employer to provide certain information to the worker, including the specific rights or claims that the worker is waiving, the period during which the worker can consider the waiver, and the right to consult with an attorney.

  2. Retirement Benefits: The OWBPA prohibits employers from reducing or terminating retirement benefits for older workers unless the reduction or termination is justified by a legitimate business reason, such as the need to cut costs or restructure the company.

  3. Health Benefits: The OWBPA prohibits employers from reducing or denying health benefits to older workers unless the reduction or denial is justified by a legitimate business reason, such as the need to cut costs or restructure the company.

  4. Severance Packages: The OWBPA requires employers to provide older workers with a more extended period to consider severance packages and the right to consult with an attorney before signing the package.

Frequently Asked Questions about the OWBPA

Q: Does the OWBPA apply to all employers?

A: The OWBPA applies to employers with 20 or more employees.


Q: What happens if an employer violates the OWBPA?

A: If an employer violates the OWBPA, an older worker may be entitled to damages, including lost wages, benefits, and emotional distress.


Q: Can an employer require older workers to waive their rights under the OWBPA?

A: An employer can require an older worker to waive their rights under the OWBPA, but the waiver must comply with the requirements of the OWBPA.

Older Workers Benefit Protection Act Lawyers

California Employment Laws that Protect Older Workers

In addition to the OWBPA, California has several employment laws that protect older workers. These include:

  1. The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA): FEHA prohibits employers from discriminating against employees based on age, among other protected categories.

  2. The California Labor Code: The California Labor Code prohibits age discrimination in hiring, promotion, and termination, among other areas.

  3. The California Family Rights Act (CFRA): The CFRA allows eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to care for a family member with a severe health condition, including a parent who is over the age of 65.

The OWBPA provides essential protections for older workers, including the right to receive specific information before signing a waiver or release of legal claims and the right to receive retirement and health benefits without discrimination.


In California, these protections are reinforced by state employment laws, such as FEHA, the California Labor Code, and the CFRA. If you believe in your rights as an employee, request an unbiased lawyer referral, and you will be matched with a vetted California employment lawyer near you.

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