• The HR Specialist - Print Newsletter
  • HR Specialist: Employment Law
  • The HR Weekly

Employment Contracts

Continued employment may be enough to make noncompetes legal

If you ask employees to sign an agreement not to compete with your organization for a certain length of time after they leave, the agreement isn’t binding unless you offer the …

Supreme Court expands filing window in ‘Section 1981’ cases

The U.S. Supreme Court last month set a four-year statute of limitations in so-called “Section 1981” discrimination cases.
While most employees file discrimination cases under Title VII of the Civil …

Your probation period: a lawsuit waiting to happen


If your employee handbook or job-offer letters say new hires will face a probation period of, say 60 or 90 days, you should consider dropping that policy.

Give employees advance notice of pay changes

Issue: Should you provide notice about commission-formula changes that could alter employees’ pay? Risk: If you rework pay formulas behind employees’ backs, you could bump up against state wage laws. …

To keep noncompetes legal, include fair restrictions

Issue: Noncompete agreements are more easily signed than enforced. Risk: One sure way to crush your noncompete’s legality is to include overly restrictive time and geographical limits. Action: Make …

Revisit severance pay as a recruiting tool

If your organization has offered little or no severance pay, now’s a good time to beef up that benefit.
Reason: Choppy economic conditions the past few years saw many employees …

Don’t bend truth in exchange for lawsuit waiver

Former employees may ask you to put the best face, and possibly an unrealistic face, on their employment record, in exchange for releasing any lawsuit claims against you. But don’t enter …

Oral promise of long-term job will trump written at-will agreement

Caution your hiring managers to avoid making, or even hinting at, guarantees to prospective employees about long-term job commitments. “Talking up” permanence to lure applicants could crush your ability to fire …

Workers can file EEOC claims, even if covered by arbitration pact

Don’t ask employees to sign away their rights, as part of a settlement agreement or lawsuit waiver, to file a discrimination claim with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commis-sion (EEOC) or …

Include fair geographical and time limits in noncompete pacts

Noncompete agreements are easier signed than enforced. So your noncompete restrictions must give the person a “reasonable opportunity” to pursue a livelihood in his or her chosen field.
What’s considered …