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Employment Contracts

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If former employee sues you, you may be able to file a counter-claim against him

It’s probably not in your best interest to jump the gun and sue a former employee if he hasn’t sued you. However, it may make sense if the former employee has initiated legal proceedings against you.

Stress doesn’t invalidate employee signature on waiver

Terminated employees often receive a severance payment in exchange for waiving the right to sue. Employees considering such an offer may feel stressed out, considering they are about to be fired. Their stress won’t invalidate an otherwise fair waiver.

Make sure arbitration agreements stand alone

Before you rush to make arbitration agreements a centerpiece of your legal risk management strategy, understand what they are and what they are not.

Arbitration agreements only work if signed in advance

Don’t have an arbitration agreement in place? Don’t expect to implement one after an employee has filed a class-action lawsuit.

Big win for employers: Supreme Court rules arbitration agreements can prohibit class-action suits

The U.S. Supreme Court upholds the right of employers to require terms that include barring employees from filing class-action lawsuits.

Always engage qualified attorney to draw up employment contracts

Here’s a reminder that drafting employment contracts is best left to the legal experts.

Go ahead: Seek pacts for both arbitration, litigation

Do you want to push employment disputes into arbitration, but prefer to have a state or federal court hear any trade secret-disputes? Keep those agreements separate.

Prepare to show applicant understood terms of initial arbitration agreement

Do you routinely include an arbitration agreement in your employment applications? It’s a good idea to keep copies of both, in case the employee later claims she didn’t understand what she was signing because of language barriers.

Challenge based on arbitrator’s bias fails

A federal court has concluded it doesn’t have the right to disqualify an arbitrator from hearing a case before a decision has been made. It’s another indication that courts aren’t eager to micromanage arbitrations.

Do your employees know what’s in arbitration pacts?

Do you use an arbitration agreement to limit exposure to expensive and time-consuming employment litigation? If so, be aware that how you present that agreement to the employee and the employee’s language fluency may affect the viability of the contract.
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