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Employment Contracts

Sometimes settling a claim is the smartest thing to do

Have you considered settling a claim instead of fighting it tooth and nail? Sometimes, that’s the smartest course of action—even if you believe your company didn’t do anything wrong. If you do decide to settle, make sure you ask your attorney to ensure that the terms and conditions are airtight …

Dealing with a fired employee who signed an arbitration agreement

Q. All of our applicants sign an arbitration agreement. Recently, for the first time, an employee we fired (he had signed the agreement) had a lawyer send us a letter complaining about his termination. Can we use the agreement to prevent the employee from filing a claim for unemployment benefits or a charge of discrimination? …

Good news: Employees have just two years to file sales commission complaints

It could have been the case that employer nightmares are made of—but the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals saved the day. Interpreting Indiana law, the federal court ruled that employees have just two years to sue over disputed sales commissions, not the 10 years a former employee argued for …

A settlement’s a settlement, court rules

Once the legal bell tolls, you can’t un-ring it. So learned a South Bend educator who this spring sought to overturn an employment law settlement she had seemingly agreed to four years ago …

You can require employees to sign agreements to arbitrate employment disputes

A federal court concluded that New Jersey contract law does allow employers to require employees to arbitrate most employment-related complaints. Plus, if an arbitration agreement contains terms that a court finds invalid, the court may throw those provisions out and still enforce the rest of the agreement …

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? …