An employee who accepted a voluntary buyout package from her employer gave up her right to sue for sex discrimination, a federal appeals court has ruled. The employee worked for Ford Motor Company and accepted a $100,000 buyout. As part of the deal, she signed a contract giving up any legal claims that arose before the buyout, although she didn’t waive “any rights or claims that may arise after” the buyout.
She then sued for sex discrimination. She argued that this was okay because her claim of sex discrimination was filed after the buyout. But the court said that even if the lawsuit wasn’t filed until after the buyout, the alleged discrimination happened before the buyout. Therefore, the claim “arose” before the buyout, and the employee had signed away her right to bring it.