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Employment Contracts

Company Records: What to Keep, What to Dump

A records retention schedule ensures that an organization keeps the records it needs for operational, legal, fiscal or historical reasons, and then destroys them when they’re no longer useful. You have to know what you have and how long to keep it—legally and for your own business purposes—before you can establish an efficient records management system.

Can we require riffed employees to sign a release before they receive severance pay?


Q. Under our company policy, employees who are terminated because of a reduction in force are entitled to severance pay. Can we require them to execute a release in order to receive severance pay?

You can require arbitration of termination wage claims


It can be months or years of administrative hearings to decide how much you are obliged to pay terminated employees. That’s one reason the Court of Appeal of California has begun advocating arbitration as a legal alternative to hearings.

Check employment agreements for commission cutoffs


Here’s a good idea if you are reviewing employment agreements that spell out how you pay commissions: Be sure to specify that the end of employment means the end of commissions.

Funny thing about noncompetes: They protect employees, too


Rather than trying to wage a court fight over what increasingly looked like a losing battle, a local company has decided to settle with an employee who sued to enforce a noncompete agreement he had signed.

What’s considered proper ‘consideration’ to make a valid noncompete agreement?


Q. I understand that consideration is required for noncompete restrictions in North Carolina and that—for existing employees—continued employment is not valid consideration. How much must a company pay to have sufficient consideration?

Ensure arbitration agreement includes statutory claims


If you want to take advantage of the arbitration process to resolve workplace issues, make sure the arbitration agreement you give employees covers enough territory. Remember, for example, to include statutory claims in the language. If you don’t, employees will still be able to sue in court to enforce those laws.

Are noncompete agreements legitimate in Texas?


Q. Can noncompetition agreements be enforced against at-will employees in Texas?

A deal’s a deal: Good settlements prevent subsequent litigation


Relatively few lawsuits—including discrimination and employment-related cases—are actually tried in a courtroom. In most cases, the parties reach a private settlement. But what happens if the parties reach a settlement and the employer holds up its end of the bargain, only to have the employee have second thoughts and bring another lawsuit?

What’s enough ‘consideration’ in a noncompete?


Q. I understand that “consideration” is required for noncompete agreements in North Carolina, and that, for existing employees, continued employment is not valid consideration. How much must a company pay to have sufficient consideration?