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Employment Contracts

How can our process elicit more specifics when the union files grievances?

Q. We have a lot of trouble with our employees’ union in terms of processing grievances. The form the union uses does not provide enough information for my HR office to determine if the grievance has merit or not. We would like the union to identify the contract provision that it believes has been violated, along with sufficient facts to understand the issue. Any thoughts? …

Courts hesitate to intervene in church leaders’ employment disputes

While many employees who work for religious organizations are covered by state and federal discrimination and contract laws, some are not. Those positions that involve execution of religious doctrines probably aren’t covered …

Arbitrating claims? Chances are appeals court will uphold decision

When employees and employers freely agree to arbitrate disputes and submit those disputes to an impartial decision-maker, chances are a federal court won’t reverse that decision. In fact, courts are required to resolve doubts in favor of arbitration, so those who try to bring lawsuits don’t get a “second bite at the apple.”

Your attorney’s expertise is key to crafting severance agreements that stick

Are you going to discharge an employee you suspect may sue for retaliation or discrimination? Then you probably have already considered softening the blow with a severance agreement. Sometimes money has a way of preventing expensive and time-consuming lawsuits …

Pair of cases shows how you can legally use arbitration, but standards are high

Two recent cases involving arbitration clauses in employment demonstrate the danger of relying on arbitration agreements to avoid litigation. Federal courts decided one case, while California’s appellate courts decided the other. Both found unconscionable the arbitration agreements employers used. Therefore they were invalid …

Caution: Hiring applicant who signed noncompete spells trouble

As noncompetition agreements become more and more popular with employers, it’s becoming easier for you to unknowingly hire someone who has already signed an agreement with a previous employer. All the ensuing complications lead more employers to ask themselves whether they should (or even can) legally hire an employee bound by a noncompete agreement with a former employer …

Radio station manager’s promises strike a sour note

Kassie Dargo worked on-air and in sales at classic rock WLUP-FM radio in Chicago. In March 2007, Rob Morris, program director of Clear Channel’s top-40 KDWB-FM in Minneapolis, contacted Dargo to recruit her for a morning co-host position …

When former employees compete: Getting noncompetes right

Good employees, especially those in sales or professional services positions, can quickly turn into enemies when they quit. Employers frequently require those employees to sign employment agreements containing noncompete and nonsolicitation restrictions when they start work. However, Illinois courts generally do not favor these kinds of restrictions and will look at them very closely. In fact, our courts are quite likely to rule in favor of employees …

Does your organization need insurance against employee lawsuits?


No matter how careful employers are, they still can be sued. Recognizing the risk, more employers are choosing to protect themselves with employment practices liability insurance (EPLI), which covers your organization if it’s hit with an employment lawsuit. But it’s important to know which coverage is right for you …

Paying for noncompete agreement?

Q. We are a small company that has to aggressively market ourselves to our customers in order to compete with larger suppliers. To protect our client base, our COO wants to require our sales force to sign a noncompete/
nonsolicitation agreement. If we want our salespeople to sign off on a noncompete agreement, do we have to give them anything in exchange, like a bonus? …