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Employment Contracts

Leave arbitration agreement out of handbook

05/20/2013

Like most employers, your em­­ployee handbook probably in­­cludes a disclaimer informing employees that nothing in the document creates a contract. But what if your handbook also includes a clause that says employee disputes must go to arbitration instead of state or federal court, where a run­­away jury might bankrupt the company? Bad idea.

St. Paul Chamber musicians, management achieve harmony

05/10/2013
After being locked out since Oct. 21, 2012, musicians with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra are prepared to complete a shortened season with a smaller contingent. A tentative agreement ending the lockout cuts the orchestra from 34 members to 28 and lowers the guaranteed minimum salary to $60,000—19% less than the previous contract that expired last September.

Document misconduct probe, just in case of lawsuit

05/09/2013
Sometimes, it’s pretty obvious you need to terminate an employee. That doesn’t mean you don’t have to investigate and document your decision.

Invoke arbitration rights as early as possible

05/01/2013
If an employee has signed an agreement promising to arbitrate employment claims, tell the court right away and ask it to compel arbitration. Otherwise, the court might decide that you waived your right to ask.

Can transportation firm include class-action waivers in arbitration agreement?

04/23/2013
Q. We would like to ask all of our employees to sign arbitration agreements. However, in light of the 2011 U.S. Supreme Court decision in AT&T Mobility v. Conception, we would like these arbitration agreements to contain class-action waivers. How should we handle this process, given that we are in the transportation industry?

Operate in several states? Beware arbitration pacts referencing states other than California

04/23/2013
Employers that do business in several states often have a single employee handbook covering all workers at all locations. If that de­­scribes your organization, be careful about how you handle details like arbitration agreements.

Beware one-sided arbitration agreements

04/23/2013
A California Court of Appeal re­­cently held that an arbitration agreement was unenforceable because it was unconscionably one-sided.

Minnesota House mulls bill limiting noncompete agreements

04/11/2013
A bill before the Minnesota House of Representatives would severely curb employers’ ability to force employees to sign noncompete agreements. The legislation, patterned after laws on the books in California and Mon­­tana, would ban a contract that prohibits a party from exercising a lawful, profession, trade, or business except under certain circumstances.

Ask your attorney about class-action waivers

02/20/2013
The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that an employee who previously agreed to waive her right to file a class-action overtime lawsuit does indeed have to rely on individual arbitration of her claim.

U.S. Supreme Court addresses arbitration of noncompete agreements

02/01/2013
In Nitro-Lift Technologies, L.L.C. v. Howard, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Oklahoma Supreme Court failed to adhere to a correct interpretation of the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA).