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Employment Contracts

U.S. Supreme Court rules on arbitration agreements

The U.S. Supreme Court has handed down an opinion that may have important ramifications for employers and others who use arbitration agreements to resolve disputes. Although technically not an employment law case, the decision sets some important limits on how arbitration decisions are appealed …

Of MySpace & Money: Don’t try to muzzle millennials’ salary talk


You’d never discuss how much money you make, right? Dude, that attitude is so 20th century! The 20-somethings you work with eagerly dish about salaries, bonuses and other work topics you might consider taboo. Managers tempted to forbid such talk? Don’t let them! Here’s why.

Stay out of court by giving copies of arbitration agreements to employees

If you aren’t careful, arbitration agreements can leave your company paying more, not less. That can happen when employees file a federal lawsuit regardless of an agreement requiring arbitration. Then the court has to decide whether the arbitration agreement is valid …

Get legal advice when hiring workers with noncompetes

When hiring new employees, be aware that they may have signed noncompetes or other employment agreements with their previous employers. Ask if they have. If they did, ask for a copy. Then have your attorney review the terms before you make an offer. Here’s why …

Can we enforce noncompetes against staff we’ve laid off?

Q. Due to the competitive nature of our business, our sales force signs restrictive covenant agreements that prohibit them from working for a competitor for a six- month period. We are about to lay off some of these employees for lack of business. Is the covenant enforceable? …

Noncompete must be reasonable and necessary to protect legitimate interests

Many Ohio employers have employees sign noncompete agreements. But before you rush out to have everyone sign, understand that such agreements have important limits. One is that if you sue a former employee, you will have to show that the contract restrictions are reasonable and necessary …

When a former employee steals customers

Q. One of our employees left and is stealing our customers. Can we sue him for breach of the duty of loyalty? …

What HR pros should know about trade secret misappropriation

When any valued employee leaves, the company experiences a loss. The loss is greater, however, when the former employee departs to work for a competitor and begins using the company’s confidential information or trade secrets. HR has a key role to play in protecting a company’s proprietary information. Here’s how to do it …

Are noncompetes enforceable on employees who have been fired?

Q. In Illinois, do noncompete agreements apply even when someone is terminated, as opposed to resigning? …

Provide real chance to weigh signing separation agreement

To make a severance agreement involving older workers stick, employers have to follow the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act (OWBPA). The law prohibits releases of Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) claims unless the agreement meets very specific requirements …