Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing

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    Every state except Montana follows the basic premise that employees who don't have a written contract are "at will." That means you can fire them (and they can quit) for any reason or no reason, as long as it's not illegal. However, every state also recognizes at least one of the following exceptions to at-will employment.  Public...

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    When parties sign a contract, they generally are bound by its terms, with limited exceptions. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit (which covers Massachusetts) recently rejected an employee's attempt to expand those exceptions in the context of employment agreements. Let's take a look at the case. 'No fair...
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    Often, an employer's good-faith efforts to comply with federal discrimination laws are helpful for completely avoiding liability for the acts of a rogue employee or at least avoiding punitive damages if liability is established. An employer must do more than just adopt a discrimination policy and educate employees about it, however...
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    A recent case decided by the Alaska Supreme Court is yet another reminder of the pitfalls facing companies that work in multiemployer workplaces. In the case, a company was found liable under a theory of interference with contract when one of its supervisors asked its contractor to "effect a change" with regard to one of the...
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    If you have an employment contract with an employee, it's extremely important to know what your contract says and what it means. You don't want to end up like the following employer, which had to rely on the Mississippi Court of Appeals to interpret the meaning of its agreement with an employee. Hospital ends relationship...
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    A hospital and a cardiologist group had heartburn over another doctor's behavior. When they wanted to get out of his half-million-dollar deal and some loans, he sued. The parties each won and lost an issue in the South Dakota Supreme Court, and now a jury will hear the details of the deals. Heart to heart Sioux...
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    Conducting a full and fair investigation following allegations of employee misconduct can protect your company. A county appeals court highlighted key attributes of a thorough investigation and found that an employee whose behavior was generally disrespectful and rude was fired for cause. Facts In March 2003,...
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    Nevada businesses are increasingly looking at employment practices liability insurance (EPLI) as a device to meet the risks they face with their employees and as they make important employment decisions. But what is EPLI, and could it be right for you? EPLI fundamentals For decades, before EPLI came on the...
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    Many Montana employers prefer to have contracts with management-level employees. That way the company can limit its liability should the management prove unsatisfactory. Problems arise, however, when the employment contracts have vague termination provisions. The Montana Supreme Court has addressed such provisions several times,...
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    Many of you have written contracts with employees or independent contractors that contain clauses requiring disputes to be arbitrated. But you can only expect those clauses to require arbitration of most disputes if that's the way they're written. As FedEx recently learned when the Tenth Circuit rejected its effort to enforce a...
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