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Employment Contracts

Landscape changing for noncompete agreements in Texas

A year and a half ago, the Texas Supreme Court clarified whether employers may require new and existing employees to sign noncompete agreements without changing their at- will status. The court concluded they can—as long as the employer provides proper consideration in return …

Contract disclaimers in handbooks preserve at-Will status

While employee handbooks are essential, be careful. If they are worded improperly, they can tie employers’ hands—and may even create employment contracts that remove the at-will status that allow employees to be terminated for any legal reason …

Advice, please: How should we implement our first severance pay packages?

Q. Due to economic conditions, we are planning to let go three employees from our 30-person work force. We are planning to provide these employees with four weeks’ pay if they sign a release of all claims. We have never provided severance pay before and have no policies governing the practice. What advice can you give us? …

Don’t let flawed noncompete agreement break the bank

Lots of employers use noncompete agreements to protect against unfair competition from former employees. But a poorly drafted noncompete agreement—e.g., one you obtained from a form book or the Internet—may create serious legal pitfalls …

Caution on mandatory arbitration! Decisions almost impossible to overturn

Lots of employers insist their employees sign agreements mandating arbitration to resolve employment law disputes. Conventional wisdom suggests that such alternative dispute resolution is less costly, less time-consuming and less risky than a jury trial. But conventional wisdom may be wrong …

Using an arbitration agreement? Keep detailed records of employee acceptance

If you use an arbitration agreement or have any other contract-based arrangements with employees, make sure the company keeps all records showing when and how the agreement was presented or signed. You may need that information many years later …

Caution! Sometimes arbitration costs employers more, not less

Arbitration is frequently billed as an inexpensive and quick way to handle employment law claims without incurring the high cost of litigation. That’s why many employers are so eager to have employees sign agreements that require arbitration of workplace claims. But sometimes that strategy backfires …

Employment contracts in North Carolina: What you need to know

Employers and employees often wonder about the benefits and drawbacks of employment contracts. Most employees do not have employment contracts. However, contracts may be appropriate for company officers, management employees, salespeople and key employees. Who’s right for an employment contract? …

Are noncompete agreements enforceable in the medical profession?

Q. I run a physician’s group, and one of our new doctors has informed me that a noncompetition agreement for physicians is unenforceable in North Carolina. Is that true? …

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 …