• The HR Specialist - Print Newsletter
  • HR Specialist: Employment Law
  • The HR LAW Weekly
  • The HR Weekly

Employment Contracts

Check settlement agreements for precise ADEA language

When an employee promises not to sue for age discrimination and accepts money in exchange for that promise, he can revoke that agreement unless it contains some very specific language. But the revocation can only apply to the age discrimination claims, not others. Those remain settled.

Don’t let handbook create a contract

Here are two easy steps to prevent your employee handbook from turning into a binding contract.

Supreme Court to hear variety of employment-related cases

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear a number of cases during the 2013-14 term that could affect employers.

When settlement requires confidentiality, tell everyone to keep lips sealed

Settling a case early on can have advantages. One of these is that you can include a confidentiality clause that bars a former employee from talking about the case. Now a Cali­­fornia court has said that such clauses are valid, meaning you can sue a former employee who breaks a confidentiality agreement.

When competition might come from within, keep employees honest

It’s a situation that happens more often than you might think: An em­ployer finds out that one of its em­ployees is preparing to leave and set up her own shop. But is the employer handcuffed, un­able to do anything about the up­start competitor because this employee didn’t sign a noncompe­tition agreement?

Warn bosses about personal liability risk

Remind supervisors that the integrity of the performance evaluation process depends on their honest assessment. Providing anything less may mean a court date and personal liability under North Carolina law.

Company signature not required on arbitration agreement

Most employers that use arbitration agreements require employees to sign them. If that’s your practice, don’t worry about getting the company’s “signature” on the dotted line. As long as the company can show it intends to be bound by the agreement, it is valid with just the em­­ployee’s signature.

EEOC seeks to block book company’s severance releases

North Carolina-based national book distributor Baker & Taylor faces challenges to language in the release it includes in all its severance packages. The EEOC claims the release violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act by forcing employees to sign “broad, misleading and unenforceable” agreements to receive severance pay.

Despite high-profile cases, class-action waivers still aren’t silver bullets in California

For years, many California courts refused to enforce class-action waivers, exposing California businesses to class-action liability regardless of any agreement with employees or customers to forgo class litigation. The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion was supposed to change all that. It didn’t.

California court to decide key arbitration case

In an important decision on whether employers can limit an employee’s access to an administrative hearing on wage claims, the California Supreme Court has ordered the parties to file supplemental briefs in light of a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision. In American Express Co. v. Italian Colors Restaurant, the U.S. Supreme Court confirmed its long-standing rule that arbitration clauses under the Federal Arbitration Act will be enforced.