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Employment Contracts

Without a noncompete agreement, can we stop a former employee from undercutting us?

Q. We just had a successful salesperson quit his job and join one of our major competitors. We did not, unfortunately, have him sign either a noncompete agreement or a confidential information agreement. We are very concerned that he may have taken, and may be using, some of our company’s confidential business information, including detailed customer information. Is there anything we can do about this situation, given the absence of any written contract?

Franken introduces Arbitration Fairness Act


Sen. Al Franken has introduced a bill aimed at undoing the Supreme Court’s recent decision in AT&T v. Concepcion, which barred class ­actions in arbitration cases. The Arbitration Fairness Act would prevent employers from requiring applicants and employees to agree to ­arbitration as a condition of employment.

Settlement accepted? That makes it a contract

Here’s something to remember when your attorneys are negotiating a settlement agreement in a pending lawsuit or other claim: As soon as you and the other party agree to an offer, a contract is formed and the terms are binding. That’s true even if the agreement hasn’t yet been signed.

Justices rule ordinance can create contract

The Supreme Court of Texas has ruled that, under some circumstances, an ordinance that governs the work of public employees and specifies benefits may be enforceable as a contract.

Make sure your noncompete agreements comply with all Texas requirements


The Supreme Court of Texas has ruled that an employer can’t seek dam­ages under a covenant-not-to-­compete if the underlying agreement doesn’t satisfy standards set out in Texas state law. That means all your efforts to protect the company from a former employee are wasted unless the agree­ment is rock solid.

Lawmakers urged to reject new labor contracts

The nonpartisan California Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) has urged state law­makers to consider rejecting some or all of six new collective bargaining agreements negotiated with state employee unions in March.

Ensure arbitration agreements are clear, fair

Given their druthers, courts would just as soon rule that employment arbitration agreements are valid—and send them back for an arbitrator to settle. But employers must help by making those agreements easily understood, fair and not entirely one-sided.

Leave contracts to the experts: Have attorney draft documents detailing benefits

Make sure an attorney reviews any contracts dealing with employee benefits and the like. A good lawyer will make sure the agreement does what you want it to do and doesn’t have language that may need court interpretation.

California Supreme Court: Employees get hearing before arbitration

The California Supreme Court has ruled that arbitration agreements are not enforceable if they require employees to arbitrate wage claims before they have a nonbinding administrative hearing before the State Labor Commissioner.

Covered by union agreement? Its terms govern all contracts

Employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement can’t claim additional quasi-contractual rights, as the following case shows.