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Employment Contracts

Alternative staffing models may save on employment costs

During these difficult economic times, small and midsized businesses are looking for ways to reduce their employment costs—while maintaining employee benefits and gaining a competitive advantage in the marketplace. Many employers are looking at alternative staffing models to meet those objectives …

Section 1981 Claims


HR Law 101: Section 1981, a little-known section of the Civil Rights Act of 1866, prohibits racial discrimination in the making and enforcement of contracts. Now, employees are increasingly using Section 1981 instead of Title VII to sue for discrimination because there’s no cap on damage awards …

New York’s new employment laws hit employers hard


Last year, while you were hard at work, so was the New York Legislature. Lawmakers passed a record number of laws affecting employers in 2007. Some laws you may have read about, while others you may have missed. Make sure you’re up to speed on new state laws that surely will impact how you manage employees in 2008 and beyond …

What if employees balk at new mandatory arbitration procedure?


Q. We are considering adopting a new mandatory arbitration procedure. We are concerned that some of our employees won’t agree to the change in our policy. What should we do? Should we tell employees that they will be terminated if they don’t agree? Will employees be bound by the policy if they don’t agree and we don’t take any further action? …

No mandatory arbitration agreement if EEOC case is pending


If, like many employers, you require arbitration to settle employment disputes instead of allowing costly court fights, be aware of a new danger. The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals recently clarified that an employee’s refusal to sign an arbitration agreement when he already has a pending EEOC complaint is protected activity. Firing such an employee for refusing to sign is retaliation …

Don’t hide mandatory arbitration clause in application


If you want to avoid expensive and time-consuming legal fights and the uncertainty a jury brings to the equation, a mandatory arbitration agreement might seem like the most attractive way to settle employment law disputes. By pushing legal challenges into arbitration, you may save time and money—but only if you can get the agreement to stick …

Must arbitration agreements be initialed by employer and employee?

Q. My company implemented an employment arbitration program several years ago, applicable to employees in all states, including Georgia. I recently have been told that Georgia law has special employment arbitration rules requiring that both the employer and the employee initial arbitration agreements in order to be enforceable. Is this true? We don’t do this …

Problems with obtaining FMLA and wage-and-Hour releases

There are many reasons why employers need to obtain releases of liability and of potential claims from their employees from time to time. But in some circumstances in North Carolina, it may be difficult—or even impossible—to get a valid release from an employee. Wage-and-hour claims and FMLA claims present possible traps for uninformed employers …

Recouping training costs when workers leave

Q. It costs a lot to train new employees, so naturally we are upset when those employees leave. They benefit from the training, and we are out the cost. Can we recover training costs if an employee leaves? …

Binding employees to noncompete agreements

Q. We want to bind existing employees to a new noncompete agreement. Can we simply make agreeing to the contract a condition for continued employment? …