Category Archives: Employment & Consulting Contracts

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DOL: “Joint Employer” and “Independent Contractor” Guidance Out and Wage and Hour Opinion Letters In

On the heels of withdrawing published interpretations of the concepts of “joint employer” and “independent contractor,” the Secretary of Labor announced yesterday that it will reinstate the issuance of opinion letters. Opinion letters are official, written opinions by the Wage and Hour Division that explain how a law applies to specific sets of facts. In 2010, the Obama administration discontinued … Continue Reading

States May Step Into Void Created by Demise of DOL’s Overtime Rule

Since the Department of Labor announced the new overtime rule last May, we have been closely following its rocky implementation in a series of posts. Presently, the rule – which would render an estimated 4 million workers eligible for overtime by effectively doubling the salary threshold for exempt employees to $47,476 – remains stayed by a federal court in … Continue Reading

The New Salary Regulations: The Saga Continues

While employers took solace from the Nov. 22 nationwide preliminary injunction which blocked implementation of a controversial rule increasing the salary threshold for employees to be exempt from overtime, the battle is not over. The Department of Labor filed its notice of appeal December 1, the same day the new salary regulations were to take effect.… Continue Reading

Catch-22 for Franchisors: The Joint Employment Dilemma

As government agencies steadily expand the concept of  joint employment, franchisors increasingly find themselves in a difficult position. Since August 2015, when the NLRB ruled in Browning-Ferris that entities with the ability to exercise direct or indirect control over workers can be joint employers (prior blog post here), franchisors have experienced increased scrutiny from both federal agencies and the … Continue Reading

Employers Can Be Thankful: New Salary Regulation Delayed

Providing employers with a piece of good news, a Texas court has issued a nationwide preliminary injunction that delays the December 1 implementation of the controversial final rule that increased the salary level for exempt employees to $47,476, more than double what it had been. The court found that the 21 states challenging the rule showed both that they were … Continue Reading

Employers Beware: SEC Continues Offensive on Employment Agreements That Inhibit Whistleblowers

Risk Alert (literally)! Standard provisions in employment agreements, severance agreements and policies may run afoul of the SEC’s whistleblower regulations. In the wake of several highly publicized enforcement actions by the SEC, on October 24, 2016 the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations issued a “Risk Alert” highlighting various contract and policy provisions the SEC has found to run afoul … Continue Reading

Failure to Disclose Procedures Dooms Arbitration Agreement

As a general rule, courts will uphold agreements that require employees to arbitrate their employment disputes. But an employer seeking to compel arbitration must show that the employee signed a valid written arbitration agreement. And according to a recent decision by Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeals, an arbitration agreement is not valid if the employer fails to disclose the … Continue Reading

Fires, Rehires and Non-Competition Agreements: Termination of Employment, No Matter How Brief, May Start the Clock to Run

An Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled that an employer cannot enforce a two year non-compete agreement against an employee who was fired for just 10 days and then rehired because the termination was treated as permanent and there was no writing signed by the employer that extended the duration of the non-compete agreement as required by the express language … Continue Reading

New York Court Rules that Florida’s Non-Compete Law is “Truly Obnoxious”

A New York appellate court has ruled that Florida law on non-compete agreements is “truly obnoxious” to New York public policy and cannot be applied against a New York employee of a Florida-based company.

The court’s decision in Brown & Brown, Inc. v. Johnson and Lawley Benefits Group, LLC, 2014 WL 486750 (N.Y.A.D. 4 Dept., February 7, 2014) is … Continue Reading

Silence is Golden for Employee Suspended Without Pay

Employers:  Read and understand your employment agreements with your employees, and don’t assume you have contractual rights that are not spelled out in the agreements.  Those are among the lessons to take from a recent decision by Florida’s Second District Court of Appeal, Nancy Havens, D.D.S. v. Coast Florida, P.A., Case No. 2D12-1047 (June 12, 2013).

Nancy Havens is … Continue Reading

Think Your Company’s Confidential Information is Safe? Think Again!

Password encrypted computers, locked file drawers, swipe cards allowing for restricted access. These are all measures taken by businesses to protect their confidential business information and trade secrets. While these steps are important, they are only part of the solution in protecting your company’s valuable business information.  More and more employers today are using restrictive covenants such as noncompete agreements … Continue Reading

Independent Contractor and Former Employee May Be Bound by Non-Compete Agreement, Florida Court Rules

Section 542.335 is the Florida statute that governs non-compete agreements.  As most practitioners know, the statute is not limited to employment relationships.  Thus, it is not uncommon for businesses and independent contractors to enter into non-compete agreements.

But what happens when an employee who has signed a non-compete agreement becomes an independent contractor of that business?  Can the worker be … Continue Reading

Is a General Assignment Clause Sufficient under Florida’s Non-Compete Statute?

Florida’s statute governing the enforcement of non-compete covenants provides that a court may enforce such covenants in favor of an assignee or successor, provided that “the restrictive covenant expressly authorized enforcement by a party’s assignee or successor.”  §542.335(1)(f).

Is a general assignment clause in an agreement that contains a non-compete covenant sufficient under the statute?  The answer to that question … Continue Reading

Statute of Frauds Bars Employment Contract Claim, Rules Florida’s Third DCA

The old adage “get it in writing” remains good advice, as illustrated by a recent decision by Florida’s Third District Court of Appeal, LaRue v. Kalex Construction and Development, Inc., Case No. 3D11-2368 (Fla. 3d DCA, August 22, 2012).

Rose LaRue began working for Kalex Construction and Development in February 2006 as a vice-president.  After her termination in December … Continue Reading

The Importance of Written Employment Offers

Although written employment contracts or offer letters are not required by Florida law, employers should clearly state the terms of a new hire’s offer in writing to avoid any misunderstandings – or, worse, claims of breach of contract or fraudulent inducement.

A recent case from Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeals, Ioannides v. Romagosa (Fla. 4th DCA, July 11, 2012)Continue Reading

Employers Must Carefully Draft Attorneys’ Fees Provisions In Non-Compete Agreements

In Rogers v. Vulcan Manufacturing Co., Inc., No. 11-3927 (Fla. 1st DCA June 1, 2012), the First District Court of Appeal explained that employers must carefully draft non-compete agreements to avoid owing attorneys’ fees to former employees who do not pay for their own defense, but, rather, have it funded by a subsequent employer.  In the case, a former employee … Continue Reading

Horse Doctors Make House Calls: A Lesson in Why Boilerplate Non-Compete Agreements May Not Hold Up in Court

Non-compete agreements need to actually prohibit the competitive activities at which they are aimed.  Thus, they must reflect the reality of the businesses for which they are drafted.

So, if you are drafting or reviewing a non-compete agreement, it’s critical that you consider not only what the business does, but how it does it- and how a former employee might … Continue Reading

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