Arthur R. Lehman, L.L.C.

employment litigation Archives

What rights and powers are granted by employment contracts?

Many employees in Manhattan, and even some employers, may assume that most employment arrangements are governed by employment contracts in addition to employment law. The reality is that most employment relationships can be categorized as employment "at will," meaning that the employee can be terminated for any reason not expressly prohibited by employment law or civil rights law. However, some employment relationships are governed by an employment contract, and it is common for these contracts to limit the power of the employer to fire the employee.

Employees push back against mandatory arbitration clauses

Many contracts in the modern business world contain clauses requiring that disputes about the contract must be submitted to binding arbitration. When the parties to the arbitration proceeding are both large, well-funded corporations, the arrangement is usually deemed to be fair to both parties. When, however, the clause appears in an employment contract, the parties may be manifestly unequal, a large corporation versus one or more employees. Recently, lawyers who engage in employee representation have begun to push back against such provisions.

Ex-Macy's employee challenges non-compete agreement

Non-compete agreements have become increasingly common in almost all types of business. They are used to protect the employer's intellectual property and also to prevent former employees from sharing customer lists and similar information with competitors. Occasionally, the former employee will attempt to have a non-compete agreement declared unenforceable. One such case is unfolding in the Federal District Court in New York.

Appellate court refuses to enforce non-compete contract

Non-compete agreements are often used by employers in New York and elsewhere to ensure that former employees cannot accept employment from competitors and then solicit the former firm's customers. A recent decision by the Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court now casts doubt on whether such agreements can be enforced against employees who are terminated without cause. The widespread use of non-compete agreements makes this case a critical issue in employee and employer representation.

Exceptions to the 'at-will' doctrine in New York

Like many other states in this country, New York adheres to the "employment at-will" doctrine. The employment at-will doctrine provides an employer can fire a New York employee, for any reason or for no reason at all, unless there is some other law or contractual provision that prohibits the employer from doing so.

New York law disfavors non-compete agreements

According to the Attorney General of New York, New York law does not favor non-compete agreements and only allows employers to use them in very limited circumstances. The Attorney General stated the government's position on non-competes while announcing a settlement agreement between the states and a media outlet that was finalized last summer.

Protecting your rights during employee negotiations

If you are in discussions with a potential employer regarding a employment contract, it is important to come prepared. This means not only understanding what is included in a contract being offered, but also understanding options as to what else may be included or excluded in the contract.

Secrecy contracts under fire

The National Labor Relations Board filed an administrative against the world's largest hedge fund firm, Bridgewater Associates, concerning its confidentiality contract. This case could increase the need for employer representation because of its potential impact on these agreements, nondisparagement clauses and compulsory arbitration agreements used by other New York industries in their employment contracts and handbooks.

Employers might benefit from balanced noncompete agreement

Employers in New York likely receive many resumes throughout the year and they select only a few people for interviews from those CVs. Usually, multiple interviews follow and screenings take place before an employee is selected, one who enrich the working environment. Usually, employees are then given training regarding their tasks and then provided with detailed private information about the company they have joined.