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Employment Contracts

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.

Somerset prison guard union talks headed to arbitration

Forty Somerset County prison guards will continue to work under the terms of a contract that expired at the end of 2010 while they and the county take contract negotiations to arbitration. The county has asked the guards to accept concessions on either wages or health benefits.

Beware relying on arbitration agreements: They’re California courts’ pet peeves

You may have heard that arbitration agreements are a great way to avoid lengthy and potentially costly employment discrimination lawsuits. But before you decide to use an arbitration agreement, remember that California courts don’t like them very much.

Hiring employees from competitor

Q. We are hiring a high-level employee who will come to us from our major competitor. She has no noncompete agreement with her current employer. Is that our only risk?