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Employment Contracts

Can we limit employee freelancing?

Q. I recently found out that one of our designers has been freelancing on the side. It doesn’t seem to be interfering with her work, but is there anything we can do legally to protect the interest of the company?

California Supreme Court to weigh class-action waivers

The California Supreme Court has agreed to review a case that enforced a class-action waiver and required a limousine driver to arbitrate his wage-and-hour claims.

Strict noncompete agreement? Don’t expect it to stick

Here’s a warning if you use so-called noncompete agreements in your employment contracts: California courts generally don’t like them and are often quite hesitant to enforce them.

Get expert legal advice to make sure arbitration agreements are valid and enforceable

The Court of Appeal of California has upheld an arbitration agreement included in an employee handbook. The difference between this case and the arbitration case in “Don’t bury arbitration agreement in handbook”: The agreement was clear and obvious.

Don’t bury arbitration agreement in handbook

The Court of Appeal of California has ruled that an arbitration agreement hidden deep in the recesses of an employee handbook can’t be en­­forced. The provision didn’t stand out, didn’t require a signature and could be changed by the employer at any time. The court said that rendered it unconscionable.

Review severance packages to limit liability for age bias

When employers offer severance packages, they often ask employees to waive their rights to sue the employer. That’s a smart strategy, but small discrepancies in the agreement’s wording can make the difference between a successful severance package and a call from the EEOC.

Endless arbitration case goes another round


Some employers favor arbitration agreements as a way to cut down on expensive and time-consuming litigation and avoid rogue juries that often sympathize more with workers than big, bad employers. But the reality is that arbitration agreements often cause more litigation, not less.

Arbitration agreement silent on class actions? Then, court says, they’re not allowed

A California appeals court has ruled that if an arbitration agreement doesn’t say whether class-action arbitration is allowed, then it isn’t.

Cover USERRA, New York law by drafting unequivocal severance releases

Don’t worry that releases you ask employees to sign in exchange for severance pay aren’t broad enough to cover claims under USERRA or the New York Military Law. As long as the release is clear and unequivocal about what’s being waived, it doesn’t have to specifically reference the laws.

When employee is at-will, you’re free to change compensation going forward

Here’s an important note in this rocky economy: Employers are free to change many of the terms and conditions of employment for at-will employees, including changing their compensation.