What are my rights if I’m a 58 year old software salesperson and have been terminated by my employer?

UPDATED: Sep 29, 2022

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What are my rights if I’m a 58 year old software salesperson and have been terminated by my employer?

No reason was given. They are asking me to sign a separation agreement including waiving all my rights to sue. In return, they are giving me 2 weeks severance, PTO, and all earned commissions up until time of termination. The company has been sued twice in the last 2 years, Is it wrong of me to negotiate a better severance package in return for signing the agreement?

Asked on October 26, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Illinois


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

If you feel you were terminated due your age--e.g. they have retained under-40-year-old salespeople who did not perform as well as you--then you may have an age-based employment discrimination claim. If you think this is the case, you should contact the federal EEOC or your state's equal/civil rights agency to file a complaint. However, if there is no evidence of age-based discrimination (i.e. you were let go for any other reason other than age, including that a supervisor simply doesn't like you), then bear in mind that they don't have to give you any severance at all (the law does not require severance); that being the case, they can ask you to sign a separation agreement in exchange for receiving severance, and it is, in fact, common for employers to do this.

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