Some employers require all, or most, of their employees to sign a non-competition agreement, rationalizing that even if not enforceable, at least the non-competition agreement will make the employee “think twice” before leaving, especially to a competitor. This practice has come under attack recently as anti-competitive.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently fined BlueLinx Holdings and Health Net, Inc. for including within severance agreements a provision designed to eliminate a former employee’s right to recover whistleblower incentives. In what is generally considered a standard provision in severance agreements, the companies’ agreements allowed for the former employees’ participation in any government investigation… Continue Reading
The Department of Energy (DOE) has proposed an amendment to the Department of Energy Acquisition Regulation (DEAR) that, among other changes, clarifies that FAR Subpart 22.12, Nondisplacement of Qualified Workers Under Service Contracts, and the associated Department of Labor regulations, applies to subcontracts under DOE’s management and operating (M&O) contracts. M&O contractors and their subcontractors… Continue Reading
In an article published on January 5, 2016, Law360 summarized the details of the employment class action case, Morton v. Vanderbilt. Bass, Berry & Sims attorneys Bill Ozier and Michael Moschel represented Vanderbilt in the lawsuit.
Employers should not rely on handbook provisions to create enforceable obligations on employees. The employers who do so took another loss recently. In Lorenzo v. Prime Commc’ns, LP, 2015 BL 386874, 4th Cir., No. 14-1622, 11/24/15, the federal Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that an arbitration provision, contained in an employee handbook, was not… Continue Reading
Bass, Berry & Sims attorneys Tim Garrett and Dustin Carlton authored an article outlining the actions employers should take to avoid violating the Dodd-Frank Act relating to confidentiality agreements. Rule 21F-17 was adopted by the SEC to prevent employers from taking any action that would prevent an employee from “directly communicating with the Commission staff… Continue Reading
Bass, Berry & Sims attorney Tim Garrett wrote an article summarizing the SEC’s April 1 announcement that it had settled an enforcement action over an employer’s use of a restrictive confidentiality agreement. Tim made the point that the SEC’s action was consistent with similar efforts by the National Labor Relations Board and the Equal Employment… Continue Reading
On December 3, 2014, Bass, Berry & Sims hosted a General Counsel Forum for a discussion of key issues that arise in the drafting and enforcement of restrictive covenant agreements. Attorneys Bob Horton and Stephanie Roth, from the Labor & Employment Practice Group, launched the event by addressing the need to begin with the end… Continue Reading
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently published a revised Employment Eligibility Verification form (Form I-9). The USCIS website has instructed employers to begin using the new form “right away.” However, the currently approved forms dated February 2, 2009 and August 7, 2009 will be deemed acceptable until May 7, 2013. After May… Continue Reading
Some employers use last chance agreements (“LCA”), particularly in union settings, to allow hourly employees “one last chance” to improve performance. In return, the employee waives the right to use the union’s grievance and arbitration process if later termination is due to continued failure to improve performance or due to another policy violation. Employers will… Continue Reading
It depends. In Tennessee, restrictive covenants are generally disfavored as a “restraint of trade,” so an employer should not assume that a contract limiting an employee’s competitive conduct after termination will be enforced by a court. In order to enforce a restrictive covenant agreement, the employer must prove that it has a legally recognized “protectable… Continue Reading