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Employment Contracts

Make sure written employment contracts exclude oral promises

02/01/2008

It’s tempting for hiring managers to oversell positions they desperately want to fill. Although HR should warn them not to make promises the organization can’t keep, it happens. That’s why every written employment agreement and offer letter should contain explicit language limiting the terms to what actually appears in writing …

Are we required to explain why we discharged an employee?

02/01/2008

Q. My company recently terminated an employee. The employee claims that she is entitled to a letter outlining the reasons for her discharge. Is she correct? If so, how much information must we provide the discharged employee? …

Can we withdraw a job offer if candidate wants to negotiate?

02/01/2008

Q. We recently extended an offer of employment. However, after accepting the position, the candidate tried to renegotiate his salary and vacation benefits. Can we withdraw our offer of employment? …

Mandatory arbitration agreements won’t always save you money

02/01/2008

Civil court cases can cost employers large amounts of time and money to resolve. Increasingly, employers have embraced arbitration as a way to curb these costs. But before you have all employees sign arbitration agreements, be sure to consider all the costs. You may find that arbitration isn’t the cost-effective strategy you think it is … 

If you ignore legal notice, you lose

02/01/2008

Ignoring any legal papers that land on the receptionist’s desk may spell big trouble. If you don’t answer a lawsuit in time, whoever filed the lawsuit gets an automatic win …

Do we have to pay for ‘Promised’ hours?

02/01/2008

Q. We have a part-time, hourly employee who usually works three days per week for 12 hours. If we don’t have enough work to fill the time, can we send her home without paying her for the unworked hours that week? — J.T., South Carolina …

Make sure employment contract language spells out employees’ ‘at will’ status

02/01/2008

Does your organization use an employment contract for some employees? If so, does that contract specify that either party can terminate the agreement for any or no reason at all? If not, insert that language right away. It will help you retain maximum control over the work force while benefiting from having the other terms and conditions in writing …

Arbitration may not bar class action

02/01/2008

Two managers at Dynamics Research brought a wage-and-hour class-action suit under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and Massachusetts law. The company asked the court to throw out the class action because it said it had a “Dispute Resolution Program” that required arbitration and disallowed class-action suits. The managers said the way the company instituted the dispute resolution process made it invalid …

A Georgia employer’s guide to creating restrictive covenants

02/01/2008

Georgia employees are generally free to compete against their former employers, solicit their customers and employees, and even use or disclose any confidential information that can’t be classified as a “trade secret.” This can be disastrous for employers. But there’s some good news for employers

Make sure you pay what contract states

02/01/2008

Indiana employers, listen up! Pay your workers what you say you will pay them, or get ready to pay a lot more. Employees can sue for unpaid wages under the Indiana Wage Payment Act and collect three times their unpaid wages. That can add up quickly …