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Employment Contracts

Court approves arbitration for NJLAD harassment claims

A New Jersey appellate court has concluded that arbitration agreements can cover claims under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination.

Settling a lawsuit? 3 tips to reduce the IRS’ share


If you’re embroiled in a contentious legal dispute, taxes may be the last thing on your mind. But errors in the way you draft a settlement agreement could mean thousands of dollars going into Uncle Sam’s pocket—instead of yours. Strategy: Try to minimize the income tax consequences of a settlement. And do it before you sign the agreement. Once that occurs, you’re stuck with the deal you made.

Beware forcing arbitration agreements on minors

Here’s a problem that may never have occurred to management when it decided to use arbitration as an alternative to costly court litigation: Arbitration agreements are contracts, and not all employees can enter into binding contracts—minors, for example.

NLRB slaps $1.3 million penalty on Wilshire Plaza

The Wilshire Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles will pay more than $1.3 million following a National Labor Relations Board ruling that it engaged in unfair labor practices during contract negotiations with a hotel workers union.

Can arbitration agreements include clause waiving employees’ statutory claims?

Q. I am wondering if we can contract with employees to resolve employment-related disputes, including statutory claims, with binding arbitration. Are there any problems with this?

Of separation & slimebags: ‘Common slang’ & severance agreements

I’ve seldom, if ever, negotiated a separation or settled an employment dispute for an employer without insisting that the signed agreement include a nondisparagement clause. The reality, however, is that a clause in a contract is only as good as one’s ability to enforce it after it has been breached. That’s not as easy as it once was.

Consider uniform, ADEA-compliant severance and rights-waiver releases–even if age isn’t factor

There’s a way to make it easier to get severance agreements for older workers to stick. Instead of a general severance agreement for most employees, and a special ADEA-compliant one for older workers, use a uniform agreement that complies with the ADEA for all severance agreements. That’s what one employer recently did. When the former employee who signed the agreement tried to get out of it, the court refused.

Arbitration agreements are contracts! Keep them out of employee handbooks

The Supreme Court of Texas has just ruled that arbitration agreements are legally valid and enforceable as long as they are stand-alone contracts—and not part of an overall employment manual.

What’s this I hear about a ‘cooling-off’ period in layoffs involving severance pay?

Q. Is there a law that requires a 45-day waiting period from the time employees are told they’ll be laid off until they receive the severance payment? My supervisor said it’s called a cooling-off period.

Can a severance agreement waiving age claims prevent an ADEA suit?

Q. We are considering terminating an employee who will turn 41 this month. Can we ask him to sign a severance agreement that includes a release of his age discrimination claims under the ADEA?