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Employment Contracts Archives

Understanding the Legality of Individual Arbitration Clauses in Employment Contracts

More employers have recently started adding individual arbitration clauses to their employment contracts. These clauses essentially state that employees who have a legal complaint against their employer cannot file a joint complaint with other employees who have had similar experiences.

Reasonable Non-Compete Agreements and Enforceability in Florida

Florida is known for its very employer-friendly non-compete laws (also known as the restrictive covenant statute), but if you're an employer hoping to restrict workers from going to work for a competitor, you have to be very careful about any non-competes you attempt to enforce. Not only does potential harm to your business count, but so does the potential harm to the worker and to those the worker serves.

Can Off-Duty Bad Conduct Warrant Termination?

The division between personal and work life often becomes blurred, especially if the person in question functions as a very public representative of the company that he or she works for. For most people, though, it is still possible to keep personal lives separate from work. However, this hasn't stopped employers from terminating workers who behave in unsavory ways off the clock. Whether this is appropriate, though, depends on the situation.

New Florida Law Ensures Contractor Status For Drivers Beginning July 1

The dividing line between an employee and a contractor has been a controversial one for people involved in the gig economy, especially rideshare drivers. As of July 1, 2017, drivers in Florida will find their status finally solved. Governor Rick Scott announced on April 24 that he will sign a bill into law that deems rideshare drivers to be contractors.Finally Settled

Whether drivers support the classification as contractors or not, the bill does remove a lot of the uncertainty surrounding their jobs, finally giving them a definite route to take if problems occur. It also lets the drivers know where they stand regarding insurance as the bill requires the companies they work with, known as transportation network companies or TNCs, to carry insurance that protects both the driver and the passenger.Better Definition of Duties and Protections

While classifying the drivers as contractors may sound at first like they are being cut adrift to fend for themselves as freelancers, the law offers several protections. Not only do the drivers and companies have to put in writing that the drivers are contractors, but the companies can't prevent the drivers from working for other TNCs or working in any other field in any other position. The TNC also has to avoid requiring the drivers to be logged into the TNC's networks during specific times. Basically, the drivers just got a lot more freedom to control their own work schedules.The law was badly needed because there was a great deal of confusion over the role of rideshare drivers in the gig economy. This is a fairly new concept in the world of freelancing, and many drivers felt they had to fulfill requirements that were more appropriate for regular employees. In fact, several lawsuits have sprung up contesting treatment of drivers, claiming that the drivers were really regular employees due benefits. The law makes these lawsuits unnecessary, and while that may be bad for those who filed them, it does clear the decks for a fresh start for everyone involved.The law also makes state law paramount in determining driver status. Cities and counties can't pass their own laws that call the drivers employees.Additional New Requirements

After the law takes effect in July, TNCs will have to enforce zero-tolerance policies regarding the use of drugs and alcohol by their drivers, and all drivers must undergo criminal background checks. Riders must get accurate information about fares as well as receive timely receipts. And finally, the law states that TNCs and drivers can't discriminate in hiring or accepting rides.The addition of this law clears up a major point of confusion and makes the roles of the TNCs, drivers, and riders much clearer. It is possible that the law, or a variant of it, could be expanded to cover other gig-economy jobs, though at this time there are no laws pending. Still, Florida employers should keep their eyes open for upcoming changes. 

Requiring Employees to Provide Proof of Eligibility to Work in the U.S. May Result in a Liability

Employers in Florida have three days from the date of hire to verify a new employee's eligibility to legally work in the United States. This verification process falls under rules and guidelines that are provided by the United States immigration and citizenship laws as outlined in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

The Actual Workplace Implications of the President's Immigration Executive Order

President Trump is known for being controversial and his latest executive order is one of most controversial acts as of yet. Signed on January 27, the executive order is titled "Protecting the Nation from Terrorist Entry into the United States by Foreign Nations" and is focused on immigration issues. The order immediately suspended the entrance of individuals from seven countries: Iran, Libya, Yemen, Iraq, Sudan, Somalia, and Syria, including entry of new refugees. This order has some major implications for businesses as even individuals with pre-approved work Visas are affected by the order.

Pre-Employment Tests and Background Checks

Frequently, employers have questions concerning the legal process behind employment tests and background checks. When making decisions about employees, many employers want to thoroughly screen the applicants to be sure they are getting only the most qualified and committed future workers. These tests can include personality questionnaires, drug tests, cognitive assessments, English proficiency, screening their Social Media pages and more. The legal rule governing testing is that the tests must be non-discriminatory and the tests must be administered properly.

When is an employment contract a good idea?

It can prove to be a great relief when the hiring process draws to a close. That's because you, the employer, will no longer have to deal with corporate recruiters, piles of resumes, rounds of interviews and prolonged discussions about who would be the best fit in your organization.

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