In June 2012, General Mills announced it was terminating about 850 employees. General Mills offered them severance packages in exchange for signing release agreements. By the agreements’ terms, employees released General Mills from all claims relating to their terminations—including, specifically, ADEA claims. The agreements also stated that claims covered by the agreements would be individually arbitrated:
[I]n the event there is any dispute or claim arising out of or relating to the above release of claims, including, without limitation, any dispute about the validity or enforceability of the release or the assertion of any claim covered by the release, all such disputes or claims will be resolved exclusively through a final and binding arbitration on an individual basis and not in any form of class, collective, or representative proceeding.