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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 …

Contract requires lengthy advance notice of resignation? It may not be valid

01/01/2008

For key personnel, it’s customary to have employment contracts specifying the terms and conditions under which the employees will work, compensation terms and other details, such as a noncompete and trade secrets clause. Plus, the agreements may specify how much notice key employees must give before they leave for other jobs. Before the contract is signed, make sure it meets with Georgia contract law …

Can disclaimers keep handbooks from becoming employment contracts?

01/01/2008

Q. Are disclaimers in employee handbooks valid in North Carolina? …

Arbitration agreements must be specific and conspicuous

01/01/2008

If, like many employers, you want to avoid the risk of a jury trial or a judge’s unpredictable decision, you may have considered requiring employees to agree to use arbitration to settle workplace disputes. But if the agreement doesn’t conform to New Jersey’s contract laws, you may end up spending time and money defending the agreement instead of arbitrating disputes …

Sample Policy: Internet Usage

01/01/2008
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Noncompete agreements protect against the competitor working in your midst

01/01/2008

Texas law says that employees owe a duty of loyalty to their employers, but can still plan to enter into competition with that employer while still employed. That’s why it’s important to protect your trade secrets and business plans by developing a clear, comprehensive and binding noncompete agreement for employees to sign—one that prohibits the poaching of staff and clients and enforces confidentiality …

Make sure your employment contracts give you enough flexibility

01/01/2008

Do you have an employee who works under an employment contract? Does the contract provide you with enough flexibility? For example, have you tied your hands when it comes to work assignments or to whom the employee reports? Is there a mechanism for early termination for cause or other economic reasons? Don’t let the complexities of contract law trip you up …

Sample Policy: Computer Usage

01/01/2008
The following sample policy was excerpted from The Book of Company Policies, published by HR Specialist, © 2010. Edit for your organization’s purposes. _____________________________ “Employees have access to one or more forms of electronic media and services (computers, e-mail, telephones, voice-mail, fax machines, external electronic bulletin boards, wire services, on-line services, the Internet and the […]

You don’t have to raise arbitration at the EEOC stage

01/01/2008

If, like many employers, you would rather avoid litigation by relying instead on arbitration to settle workplace disputes, you probably know that employees still may take their claims to the EEOC. That’s because the agency claims an interest in knowing whether employers are following the nation’s anti-discrimination laws. But it’s perfectly legal to force an employee into arbitration over those same claims …

DaimlerChrysler prevails on sexual harassment charges

01/01/2008

A woman who worked in DaimlerChrysler’s Toledo machining plant lost her sexual harassment case against the company partly because of a sound employment agreement—and partly because the company responded appropriately to her complaint …