EMPLOYMENT CONTRACTS

Court: Employee who agrees to arbitration must stick to it

07/17/2015
The Court of Appeal of California has reversed a lower court order denying arbitration and ordered the case into arbitration instead.

Broad arb clause can cover bias, retaliation, too

07/17/2015
A federal court considering whether a broad arbitration clause included in an employment contract bars discrimination and retaliation claims has concluded it does. That’s good news if you use employment contracts and want to push any subsequent employment-related claims into arbitration.

How should we handle news that employee previously signed a noncompete agreement?

07/09/2015
Q. We received a letter from a competitor informing us that our new employee used to work for them and is now in violation of noncompetition agreement with the competitor. What should we do?

Suit filed? Arbitration pact may still work

07/09/2015
Employers use arbitration agreements to keep employment-related litigation out of the courts. But what if you don’t have an arbitration agreement in place when former employees file a wage-and-hour class action lawsuit against your company? Can you suddenly spring an arbitration agreement on current employees and expect it to work? Surprisingly, yes, according to the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals.

These rules make arbitration agreements stick

05/22/2015
There’s no point in using arbitration agreements if they’re not enforceable. Make sure yours will hold up in court by following these rules.

Court upholds arbitration despite language barrier

05/20/2015
A California Court of Appeal has upheld an arbitration agreement written in English and signed by employees with limited language ability.

Use a last-chance agreement to salvage employee, avoid lawsuit

05/14/2015

Sometimes, a marginal worker shows promise and immediate termination isn’t warranted. Plus, you’re concerned that a lawsuit may follow the firing. In such cases, consider drafting a last-chance agreement (LCA) for the employee. Think of it as hitting the reset button. Here's what to include in an LCA, pluse a sample LCA you can adopt for your workplace ...

In Texas, decisions raise bar on waiver of arbitration agreements

05/04/2015
Two recent decisions from the Supreme Court of Texas and the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals are reminders that, under Texas law, it is difficult for employers to waive arbitration agreements.

EEOC loses case based on 'illegal' claims releases

04/27/2015
The EEOC has lost an important test of a novel theory that could have changed how some severance agreements are structured. It wanted to forbid requiring workers to waive the right to sue if they were converted from employees to independent contractors.

Can we require owner-employees of a business we're buying to sign noncompete agreements?

02/10/2015
Q. My company is in the process of purchasing a small printing business, and we plan to retain several of the owner-employees of the acquired business. As a part of the purchase-and-sale agreement, we would like to take steps to protect our customer base by restricting the competitive activities of the owner-employees for five years. Additionally, we are interested in restricting the activities of an employee who is not a party to the transaction, but is married to one of the owners of the business. May we do so? What are some basics about noncompete agreements?

Arbitration agreement leads to ... arbitration!

12/24/2014
Good news for employers that use arbitration agreements: Cali­­for­­nia will send such cases to arbitration even if they start as collective actions—if the arbitration agreement is clear, separate from other handbook provisions and not unconscionable.

Warn your supervisors: Oral promises can be binding

11/17/2014
Make sure managers know that promises don’t necessarily have to be in writing to be binding. The more specific the promise, the more likely a court could hold you to it.

Watch out for rivalry that could spawn lawsuit

11/13/2014
In highly competitive fields, it’s not unusual for bosses and subordinates to distrust one another. But when that distrust leads to one party badmouthing the other, that can spawn a lawsuit.

Words matter! Boss's oral promise can become binding if it's definite enough

10/08/2014
Here’s a warning for supervisors and managers. When transferring an employee to another position, make sure you don’t make promises that create an employment contract. Such promises, under New York state contract law, don’t necessarily have to be in writing. Fortunately, they do have to be specific.

Don't limit your legal options! Beware vague arbitration agreements

09/19/2014
The Court of Appeal of California has held that an employer cannot compel arbitration of a wage claim when the language in the parties’ arbitration agreement excluded wage-and-hour claims.
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