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Employment Contracts

Irony: Lawyer sues former partners for breach of contract

A former partner at Locke Lord Bissell & Liddell has filed a lawsuit accusing the law firm of breaching his employment contract, violating the labor code, fraud, negligent misrepresentation and libel and slander.

Good news: Properly worded arbitration agreement valid in California

A federal court has ruled that an arbitration agreement—even an admittedly oppressive one—can be enforced in California if it’s drafted broadly enough.

New tool when employees defect to competition: bonus forfeiture

Employers looking to discourage their employees from going to work for a competitor, take note! As a general matter, courts aren’t in favor of noncompete agreements. Nevertheless, Illinois employers may now have a new weapon to keep employees from taking your secrets when they leave.

Hiring from the competition, how much should we ask about any noncompete agreements?

Q. We are considering hiring an employee away from one of our competitors. Should we ask whether she is subject to a noncompete agreement, or is it better for us to move forward not knowing the answer?

Consider alternatives before choosing mandatory arbitration


Employers and their lawyers often favor mandatory arbitration of employment claims for two reasons: It’s a cost-effective alternative to court, and it’s an insurance policy against runaway jury verdicts. Arbitration, however, can often prove just as costly as court. Thus, while many employers continue to favor arbitration to limit their potential exposure in front of a jury, others have begun to consider alternatives.

How to decide: Should employers arbitrate workplace disputes?

Is arbitration the best forum in which employers should try to resolve statutory claims. Significantly, some employers have begun to abandon mandatory arbitration in recent years. Here are some of the issues employers must consider when deciding whether to require arbitration of employees’ statutory claims.

Stick with termination decision–and don’t hint that you’re open to reconsidering

Once you’ve made the tough decision to terminate an employee, stick to it. If you let the employee talk you into reconsidering, you may end up with a lawsuit over whether a contract had been created.

When competition might come from within, keep employees honest

It’s a situation that happens more often than you might think: An employer finds out that one of its employees is preparing to leave and set up her own shop. But is the employer handcuffed, unable to do anything about the upstart competitor because this employee didn’t sign a noncompetition agreement?

Your well-crafted arbitration agreement will stand up in New Jersey courts


There’s good news for New Jersey employers that use arbitration agreements to keep workplace disagreements out of court. Courts often find arbitration agreements valid, even if the employee who signed it was in a take-it-or-leave-it position. What’s more, courts won’t toss out an agreement just because a small section may be invalid. Instead, they’ll strike the invalid parts and leave the rest intact.

Are arbitration agreements right for your organization?


There’s a flood of employment law litigation sweeping the nation. Blame the recession. Employment-related cases are clogging court dockets at the state and federal levels. The EEOC is fielding more and more employment discrimination claims. Facing these realities, alternative dispute resolution is becoming increasingly popular as parties look for more efficient, less expensive conflict-resolution mechanisms. Arbitration is the type of alternative dispute resolution that’s attracting the most attention.