A dispute between an employer and employee is not a rare occurrence. Often conflicts are unavoidable, especially when tough decisions hang in the balance. Personality differences, discrimination and harassment are a few serious issues. If conflicts go unresolved, it can lead to claims and ultimately damage a business.
A recent example involves a former employee who filed a class action suit against Telltale Games, a video game company based in California. The complaint states that employees were given 30 minutes to leave the building after receiving news about the layoffs. Over 200 employees were let go, with 25 employees staying to finish off the last project.
Employee contracts are essential
Contracts are a common cause for disputes between employers and employees. In California, the WARN Act is a law that requires some companies to give its employees a 60-day notice for mass layoffs. Because of this, former Telltale employees are demanding wages, salaries and 401k contributions for the 60 days.
Avoiding employer-employee disputes is not always possible. However, certain situations can come with exceptions. Employers in serious legal binds may have options. To proactively prevent issues in the future, companies take a close look at the wording in employee contracts.
An employment contract can include the following:
- Ownership agreements
- Nondisclosure agreements
- Reasons and grounds for termination
- A method for resolving disputes, such as mediation or arbitration
Regardless, contracts cannot resolve all disputes. Conflicts are sometimes hard to prepare for, or predict. In many cases, employers have no choice but to act on certain circumstances. As a result, litigation might be on the horizon, especially when the stakes are high.