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Employment Contracts

Make sure your employment contracts give you enough flexibility


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 …

IRS Revenue Ruling 87-41

Rev. Rul. 87-41 1987-1 C.B. 296. Internal Revenue Service Revenue Ruling EMPLOYMENT STATUS UNDER SECTION 530(D) OF THE REVENUE ACT OF 1978 Published: 1987 Section 3121.-Definitions, 26 CFR 31.3121(d)-1: Who are employees. (Also Sections 3306, 3401; 31.3306(i)-1, 31.3401(c)-1.)   Employment status under section 530(d) of the Revenue Act of 1978. Guidelines are set forth for determining […]

How to develop an employee handbook that avoids liability


With employment litigation rising steadily, the employee handbook has become an essential tool in the employer’s arsenal to defend against liability for employment decisions. A good handbook tells employees what the rules are and how they will be enforced …

It’s not a crime to require applicants to sign arbitration agreements


Employees have sometimes tried to apply a pair of Michigan criminal laws against employers that include arbitration agreements in employment applications. Now a federal court has declared that those criminal statutes don’t apply. You don’t need to fear that making an employee sign the application will subject you to criminal penalties or imprisonment …

Forced arbitration agreement doesn’t stop class-Action wage-and-Hour lawsuits


A California appeals court ruled that employees can still participate in class-action wage-and-hour lawsuits even if they signed arbitration agreements waiving their rights to those kinds of suits as a condition of continued employment. The court said such agreements are unconscionable and therefore not enforceable …

Section 409A extends beyond formal deferred comp plans


The IRS recently issued final regulations for implementation of Section 409A of the Internal Revenue Code. Section 409A regulates deferred compensation. Deferred compensation benefits traditionally have been viewed as compensation reserved for executives and upper management level employees. But the effects of Section 409A extend much further. Now is the time to familiarize yourself with the regulations …

Don’t ask workers to waive past or future FMLA claims


A key FMLA regulation says, “Employees cannot waive, nor may employers induce employees to waive, their rights under FMLA.” But does that rule apply to waivers of future FMLA violations as well as when they sign settlement agreements based on past FMLA violations? …

‘Last-Chance agreements’ are reasonable accommodations for substance abuse


A court has ruled that so-called “last-chance agreements”—which put off discharge in favor of treatment for an active drug or alcohol problem—are valid as reasonable accommodations. If last-chance agreements were banned, employees with substance abuse problems would lose an important avenue toward keeping their jobs …

Paying commission? Get written agreement


If your organization pays some employees on a commission basis, it may be a good idea to put it in writing. Relying on just an oral agreement may lead to trouble down the road—especially if the employee quits and says you owe him money. Without a written agreement spelling out the commission terms, a lawsuit probably will come down to his word against yours …

Employee References: Sample Release Form

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