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Employment Contracts

California Supreme Court issues key arbitration decision

07/23/2014
The California Supreme Court has issued a long-awaited decision in an important arbitration case. The decision is generally good news for employers seeking to use class-action arbitration waivers to deter wage-and-hour class actions. It’s less helpful to those attempting to fight off wage-and-hour “representative” actions.

Separation agreements: Use arbitration agreements instead of claims releases?

07/15/2014
Q. We have seen that some companies are requiring their employees to agree to arbitration rather than a release of claims in their separation agreements. Is this an alternative worth exploring?

Want arbitration agreement to stick? Get expert help, especially with translation

06/24/2014
Here’s a warning for employers that want to use arbitration to solve employment-related problems without expensive litigation: Don’t expect to draft the agreement yourself, modify something you find on the Internet or use an English version when employees speak another language, such as Spanish or Viet­­namese.

Specify which state’s laws apply to arbitration agreements covering teleworkers

05/23/2014
If you happen to use an arbitration agreement in employment contracts for out-of-state telecommuters, be aware that you may have to specify what state law you want to apply to the contract. Otherwise, the court will likely presume the employee’s state of residence applies.

Want to require an arbitration agreement? That’s fine as long as it’s fair to employees

04/23/2014
Here’s some good news for employers that want to use arbitration as a way to resolve employment disputes instead of relying on federal or state courts: Imposing a fair arbitration policy on applicants as a condition of employment is fine.

Track worker receipt of electronic handbook

04/03/2014
Want an easy way to show that an employee acknowledged receiving a copy of your arbitration agreement? Include it in the employee handbook. Then have IT track when employees received it.

Ensure arbitration agreement in application isn’t one-sided

03/27/2014
Employers that want to use arbitration to avoid protracted legal battles can include arbitration agreements in their applications and require applicants to sign as a hiring condition. That’s provided the agreement isn’t entirely one-sided.

Electronic signatures: What HR professionals need to know

03/13/2014

For centuries, a signature at the bottom of a piece of paper has meant someone agrees with what the document says. But now many of our documents are made of electrons instead of wood pulp.
Can keystrokes carry the same legal weight as strokes of the pen?

Using day labor? Keep relationship contractual

03/06/2014

If you sometimes need temporary help, you probably turn to companies that hire and manage day laborers. Keep the relationship strictly professional to avoid potential liability as an employer. Instruct supervisors to defer any questions on pay, hours and potential hiring to the temp agency and remind them not to promise anything.

Noncompete buried in benefit plan? Admin sets the terms

02/28/2014
Are some of your benefits—such as bonuses or other merit payments at retirement or departure—contingent on complying with a covenant-not-to-complete? Chances are the benefits plan administrator—not a federal court—will be interpreting the terms.