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Employment Contracts

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? …

Warning: Draft clear compensation agreements to avoid needless litigation

Texas contract law grants great leeway to employers that create incentive payment plans, especially when it comes to how employers calculate what payment is due employees. Essentially, if the incentive plan says the employer has the right to interpret the agreement language and its decision is final and binding, courts won’t interfere unless the employer interprets it in bad faith …

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


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


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


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?


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


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 …