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Employment Contracts

Noncompete agreements in Indiana: When are they legal?


Many Indiana employers wisely use noncompete agreements to protect their legitimate business interests in their customer base and trade secrets. But will those agreements stand up in court? While some employers have successfully used noncompetes, others don’t believe they’re worth the paper they’re printed on. Depending on how the noncompete is drafted, either can be true …

OWBPA doesn’t cancel out courthouse-Step settlements


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


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


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?


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


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 …

New Jersey cracks down on employers that misclassify employees


Warning! Employers that intentionally misclassify employees as independent contractors face new penalties in New Jersey. Employers that intentionally misclassify workers unfairly stifle business competition because the practice lets them reduce labor costs between 15% and 20%, according to some estimates. That leaves employers that don’t cheat at a competitive disadvantage. Plus, employee misclassification strips workers of benefits and disability protection, and cheats the average taxpayer out of revenue …

How can employers get waivers of claims from terminated employees?


Q. May an employer fire an employee and then ask the employee to sign a waiver of claims or severance agreement? …

Employee References: Sample Release Form

White Paper published by The HR Specialist, copyright 2007 ______________________ It’s a smart legal move to require employees to sign a waiver releasing your organization from liability for providing truthful employment references. The following is a sample Employment Reference Release form that was adapted from several state bar associations’ employment law groups. You can use […]

Independent Contractor or Employee? How to Make The Call

White Paper published by The HR Specialist ______________________ For years, the IRS has relied on a 20-factor test to determine whether a worker is considered an “employee” or an “independent contractor.” Conferring contractor status on a worker often benefits the employer, who is then not obligated to withhold income tax or to pay Social Security […]