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Employment Contracts

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.

Courts will toss unfair arbitration agreements


Courts are particularly unlikely to consider an arbitration agreement binding if it appears the employee did not understand what he was signing.

Contract can limit where lawsuit is filed


Employers with employees who work from home or far from the main office sometimes find themselves facing litigation in a state far from the main office. Making clear up front that lawsuits can’t be filed elsewhere may help.

Make arbitration agreements separate documents, not part of your handbook

If, like many employers, you have neglected updating your employee handbook, now is a good time to do so. That’s particularly true for Texas employers that use arbitration agreements to keep employment law disputes out of court.

Pennsylvania bill would restrict noncompetes


A bill before the Pennsylvania General Assembly would make Pennsylvania one of the states most hostile to noncompete agreements. Pennsylvania House Bill 1938 would prohibit all “covenant[s] not to compete,” other than those resulting from the sale of a business or the dissolution of or dissociation from a partnership or limited liability company.

One case, two destinations: Arbitration and court!


Here’s a decision that may complicate matters for employers that use arbitration agreements to keep employment disagreements out of federal courts.

Court of Appeal rules multiple arbitration agreements are permissible


Employers that want to arbitrate all employment-related disputes have won support from California’s state appellate court system, which ruled it acceptable to create different arbitration agreements for different employment-related purposes, each with different terms and conditions.

Beware promises made during hiring process


What managers say during the hiring process can spell trouble later if anything they say sounds like a promise that induces a candidate to accept a job offer and the employer fails to follow through.