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

Employment Contracts

Beware one-sided arbitration agreements

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

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

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

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).

Temp’s contract expired? He can still sue you

Temporary workers can still sue even if they no longer work for you because their contracts expired and weren’t renewed.

Make clear to staff who owns their Twitter followers

Get an agreement in writing with any employees who use social media under the company’s name. It should clarify who owns those accounts and what will happen to the followers if the employees departs.

Be prepared to prove employees’ at-will status

Does your handbook clearly spell out that employees are truly at-will employees? If not, be sure to add language doing so the next time you update your handbook.

Workers need to know that customer lists are secret

Want to stop unfair competition from former employees? Have them acknowledge that customer lists that they may have access to are considered trade secrets and that they can’t solicit customers from those lists after leaving.

Now what? Employee won’t OK arbitration

Employers that decide to add an arbitration agreement to their conditions of employment often try to get every employee’s signature on the document. But what if some employees don’t sign? What will you do? Can you count on the agreement being binding anyway? That’s unclear.

Handbooks: 5 simple steps for preserving at-will status

The easiest way to make sure employees understand that they are employed on an at-will basis is to place disclaimers throughout your employee handbook. Five key elements will help those disclaimers stand up in court if an employee ever mounts a legal challenge to at-will employment.