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Employment Contracts

Layoffs: The right way to prepare and execute


The U.S. economy was already on the brink last month when the Wall Street-fueled financial crisis came and pushed it over the edge. Organizations nationwide are being forced to slash costs, which often means cutting payrolls. Too often, however, employers make tactical errors during layoffs. Here are six key steps to help keep layoffs as legally painless as possible:

How can I make sure proprietary information doesn’t leave when employees do?


Q. As an employer, what can I do to avoid unauthorized disclosure of sensitive company information when an employee departs?

Use arbitration agreement to limit time to sue


If you use a mandatory arbitration agreement, you may be able to set a relatively short deadline for employees to bring discrimination claims …

Confidentiality provision may violate federal labor law


A temporary employment agency violated federal labor law by including a confidentiality provision in an employment contract, according to a recent NLRB ruling (Northeastern Land Services, Ltd. dba The NLS Group and Jamison John Dupuy, 352 NLRB No. 89, 2008). In the case, the agency fired a worker for violating the confidentiality provision …

Can I fire employees who may soon become competitors?


Q. I just learned from a reliable source that two employees are going to start a similar business. Apparently, they have submitted paperwork that is based on the forms I used to create my own business. Is this grounds for termination? …

Is your release broad enough to bar all lawsuits?


If your employees sign releases agreeing to settle minor employment-related claims out of court, make sure the language is broad enough to actually stop any further litigation …

Employer wins battle to withdraw recognition of struggling union


The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, which has jurisdiction in North Carolina, recently ruled that an employer could withdraw recognition of a union if it can present “substantial objective evidence” that most employees no longer support the union. The decision gives employers a road map for handling situations where a union has lost the backing of the employees …

No translation needed for arbitration agreements to be valid


You might worry that people who don’t speak English well won’t be bound by contracts such as arbitration agreements. If applicants or employees can’t read an agreement, it would seem logical that they couldn’t agree to the terms. You have little to fear …

Calif. Supreme Court upholds strict limits on noncompetes


If California employers were looking to the state Supreme Court to loosen restrictions on the scope of noncompete agreements, they will be disappointed. The court just concluded that agreements restricting the ability to practice one’s profession are generally invalid …

Ask attorney for help to make sure employment contract contains proper language

If you use employment contracts, don’t be tempted to draft the agreement yourself. Doing so may mean you’ll end up with terms that go beyond what you meant. Contract law is tricky, and an experienced attorney can best guide you in creating a contract that is clear, unambiguous and complies with Michigan law …