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Employment Contracts

An unsigned contract can still be legally binding

11/01/2003
Issue: Some courts consider agreements, signed or unsigned, to be valid, binding contracts.
Risk: A manager’s verbal promise could lock your company into legal agreements it must follow …

Avoid making promises that become job contracts

10/01/2003
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Use telecommuters? Defuse 5 main lawsuit threats

09/01/2003
Telecommuting is popular with employers and employees. Com-panies with telecommuting programs can realize productivity gains, im-proved morale …

Don’t make promises the company might not keep

07/01/2003
Issue: Courts will make your company follow through on oral promises you make about benefits.
Risk: You or an ill-informed manager could inadvertently force your company to provide benefits it …

Require staff to arbitrate disputes; court upholds ‘partially legal’ pact

07/01/2003
Don’t be leery of requiring employees to sign mandatory arbitration agreements. As the following ruling shows, even if a court disagrees with part of your agreement, …

Give employees advance notice of severance plans, waivers

05/01/2003
Don’t spring severance-plan details on employees right before a layoff. The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) says you must give employees advance notice …

Don’t cut severance if it violates written contract

05/01/2003

Q. We need to change our severance policy, mostly due to declining business conditions. Can we reduce the severance amounts cited in employment agreements with certain staff as long as we notify them of the change? —J.C., Illinois

Don’t conspire with competitors to freeze workers out of a job

03/01/2003
Never agree with another company to refrain from hiring each other’s employees unless your workers and the other company’s workers sign the agreement. Reason: …

ADEA: Prevent fastest growing, most expensive type of bias

01/01/2003
Expensive mistake Median award by type of bias: ’94-’00 cases Age $268,926, Disability 175,001, Race 120,951, Sex 100,000. Source: Jury Verdict Research …

You can’t shave employee’s bonus just because she took FMLA leave

12/01/2002
When the company Valerie Dierlam worked for was sold, the acquiring firm offered her a bonus of half her salary if she stayed for one year. She did, but the …