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Employment Contracts

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 […]

Are Waivers a Cure-All for Employee Lawsuits?


Q. Is obtaining a legal release from an employee in exchange for severance pay guaranteed to prevent any legal action by that person? —J.S. …

Use contractual limitations to protect company and managers


Michigan courts have generally upheld as valid and enforceable provisions within an employment application or employment contract that place time limits on when employees can sue their employers. Thus, while the statute of limitations for filing a claim of discrimination under Michigan’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act is three years, a Michigan court has upheld contractual provisions providing for a shortened limitations period of six months …

Without clause, employers can’t escape paying full wages


When it comes to employment contracts, it’s wise to include an escape clause. Here’s why: If you don’t specify that you can terminate the contract early and then find yourself having to eliminate the employee, you may have to pay that employee the full amount he or she would have earned working the entire term of the contract …

Noncompete clause must be very specific or it may be invalid


Employers who want to preserve their competitive advantage often require employees or contractors to sign noncompete agreements. But Georgia agreements must be very specific, detailing exactly what type of employment is prohibited. If the agreement is too broad, a judge may toss it out …

Do workers read policy changes? Collect proof the right way


Suppose your organization decides to alter its retirement plan. You shoot out an e-mail about the change, but fail to secure written proof that employees have read and understand the modifications. Three months later, an employee retires based on promises made in the old retirement plan, resulting in lost pension dollars. He sues, saying he never got wind of the retirement-plan change. This true story occurs surprisingly often in U.S. workplaces …

The elements of a valid noncompete agreement


Q. What standards must Pennsylvania employers follow when drafting noncompete agreements? …

Employee or independent contractor? For workers’ comp, commission is last word


Independent contractors aren’t eligible for workers’ compensation benefits paid by their contractor’s insurer, but employees are …

How to craft noncompete agreements


Q. What can I do to avoid unauthorized disclosure of sensitive company information when an employee departs? …