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Employment Contracts

Following EEOC victory, carefully consider conditions you include in last-chance agreements

01/18/2012

In a significant legal victory, the EEOC has persuaded a federal court to limit what employers can in­­clude in so-called last-chance agreements. The court concluded that the EEOC was right when it argued that agreements threatening retaliation are illegal …

Always seek attorney’s help when drafting contracts

01/05/2012
Creating independent-contractor agreements is not a do-it-yourself job. Always get expert legal help.

What HR pros must know about protecting trade secrets

12/30/2011
When any valued employee leaves, the company experiences a loss. The loss is greater, however, when the former employee departs to work for a competitor and begins using the company’s confidential information or trade secrets. HR has a key role to play in protecting a company’s proprietary information. Here’s how to do it.

Special work arrangement? Ensure worker’s at-will status

12/21/2011
Occasionally, you may decide to create alternative work arrangements based on written agreements. How you do that is crucial to retaining at-will status.

Take-it-or-leave-it arbitration clause is fine if the underlying agreement is fair

12/16/2011

The Court of Appeal of California has handed a significant victory to employers that use arbitration agreements as a condition of employment. As long as the underlying terms of the agreement are fair and the arbitration process impartial, the court will send a case to arbitration even if the employee had no choice but to sign the agreement.

Use contract to compel return of documents

12/14/2011
Minnesota law doesn’t give employers a clear right to demand the return of copied documents when an employee leaves. It’s one reason that you may want an employment contract, noncompete agreement and confidentiality guarantee all wrapped up into one for employees who work with sensitive information.

How do I make a noncompete enforceable?

11/23/2011
Q. Can I ask employees who are already with the company to execute noncompete agreements?

Are any noncompetes enforceable in California?

11/18/2011
Q. I’m aware that California law generally does not allow employers to use noncompete agreements. Are there any noncompete agreements that California courts will enforce?

When crafting arbitration agreements, consider effect of PAGA on class actions

11/18/2011
It’s hard to create binding and en­­forceable arbitration agreements in California. Some courts considering California arbitration agreements have held that actions brought by em­­ployees under the California Private Attor­­ney General Act of 2004 (PAGA) can’t be blocked by arbitration agreements.

Don’t want class-action arbitration? Say so

11/18/2011
When claims involve unpaid overtime or misclassification, attorneys representing employees naturally want to handle the case as a class or collective action. Some employers think that if they include an arbitration agreement in their terms and conditions of em­­ploy­­ment, a wage-and-hour claim has to go to arbi­­tra­­tion as an individual claim. That’s not necessarily true.