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Employment Contracts

Should you encourage job candidates to reject other job offers?

11/01/2007

Q. Our company recently offered a job to a highly skilled software designer. Upon offering the worker a position, she informed us that she had accepted a similar position with one of our competitors. However, she told us that she would rather take our offer. What should we do? …

Oral settlement agreement may be binding even if the specifics are unclear

11/01/2007

When it comes to settling New Jersey employment lawsuits on the eve of trial, be forewarned: Understand all the terms of the agreement before you tell the court the matter is settled. Don’t expect to come back to court for a do-over when you later can’t agree on some of the terms. In New Jersey, a deal is a deal—even if it isn’t in writing …

Keep track of termination notice date

11/01/2007

North Carolina employees have 180 days to file discrimination complaints with the EEOC. Those who don’t meet the deadline lose their rights to sue. But the date that really counts is not the actual termination date if the employer informed the employee earlier that she would lose her job …

NCWHA governs employee incentive and bonus plans

11/01/2007

Incentive-pay programs and bonus plans are very common in North Carolina and sometimes constitute a significant portion of an employee’s pay. But if a dispute develops, the employee does not have a claim for breach of an employment contract. Instead, the North Carolina Wage and Hour Act (NCWHA) applies. The application of the NCWHA, which contains notice and nonforfeiture requirements, often takes employers and employees by surprise …

Surely this employer should have known better

11/01/2007

A federal trial court has rebuffed attempts by a law firm to enforce an arbitration agreement against one of its own attorneys. The attorney, a woman, claimed that she had been paid less than male attorneys for the same work. She sued …

OWBPA doesn’t cancel out courthouse-Step settlements

10/01/2007

The federal Older Workers Benefit Protection Act (OWBPA) requires employers to give older workers at least 21 days to consider the offer if any termination or severance-pay agreement asks them to give up their right to sue for age discrimination. But fortunately, once the case is in court, there’s no waiting period …

Despite contract, union members can sue directly

10/01/2007

If you think you can prevent employees from suing you directly by negotiating a union contract specifying that all employment disputes go to arbitration, think again. Even if the collective-bargaining agreement specifies that every employment-law dispute will be arbitrated, your employees still can go to state or federal court with their claims …

Geeks in trench coats? L.I. firm alleges software spying

10/01/2007

CA Inc., a software company in Islandia, has filed a $200 million lawsuit against rival Rocket Software of Newton, MA, alleging Rocket stole computer source codes and other trade secrets from CA and used the information to develop almost identical products …

Is your arbitration clause broad enough to protect you?

10/01/2007

If you use an arbitration clause to limit federal lawsuits, now is a good time to review the terms. As an employer in the 11th Circuit, you can require employees to arbitrate just about any employment dispute. That can be a distinct advantage, especially as more and more attorneys representing employees push for class-action lawsuits. If employees agree to arbitration, it’s far less likely the case will mushroom to include all similarly situated employees …

Watch what you promise: Michigan employment contracts can be oral

10/01/2007

In Michigan, employers and employees can enter into employment contracts without using written agreements. As long as one of the parties can prove what the terms of the agreement are, a court may enforce the agreement. One way to protect your organization is to have all new hires sign an acknowledgment that no oral promises are binding, and that all contracts must be in writing …