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Arizona Non-Compete Agreements

JULY 23, 2012

A non-compete agreement is a contract between an employee and employer where the employee agrees not to enter into competition with the employer after he or she terminates employment.

Non-compete agreements are becoming more common as a condition of employment to protect companies by restricting their employees to perform similar work for a specific time-frame and within a specific geographical area. These non-compete agreements are set up to deter employees from leaving the company and joining a competitor or becoming a competitor and using the information gained while at the company to compete directly with them.

Companies associated with a product or service, like sports brands and the television industry, are the most common of employers who require their employees to sign a non-compete agreement. For example, all U.S. employees of Reebok must sign a non-compete agreement which states that they are not allowed to work for a direct competitor (e.g. Nike, Puma) for a minimum of 12 months after their termination of employment.

Employers benefit from non-compete agreements by keeping former employees from sharing industry experience, knowledge, trade secrets, client lists and other confidential information. Recruiting and retaining talented professionals is an essential part to building strong relationships with clients. In addition, employers spend a significant amount of time, money and resources training their employees to enhance their career and retain the valuable talent so it is important for businesses to protect themselves as much as possible. Non-compete agreements are very popular among small business owners as a way to protect themselves if they need to sell their business in the future.

So how do employees benefit from signing a non-compete agreement? By receiving something of value like professional training, education, a promotion, or general work experience. While non-compete agreements may not sound like an appealing part of an employment offer, the experience and training you receive throughout the duration of your time at the company can be invaluable to further your career.

A significant amount of controversy revolves around non-compete agreements. While business owners feel that these kind of agreements help protect their future, individuals (employees) argue that non-compete agreements can be detrimental if they get laid off from their job and cannot find work at other companies who are viewed as competitors.

From a legal perspective, non-compete agreements are an important part of employment law and the way a business is run in order to protect their future successes. If you have questions or concerns about non-compete agreements and whether they can benefit your company or if you should sign one as part of a new job, make sure to seek an attorney who can help answer your questions.

Arizona DES Unemployment Appeal

AUGUST 7, 2013

Our employment law website has a new page dedicated to a discussion of the Arizona Department of Economic Security (" DES") Unemployment Hearing process. Any claimant may hire an attorney to act as their representative at an Arizona DES Unemployment Appeal. An attorney will question witnesses, makes legal objections, and make a closing statement. An attorney can assist you in effectively preparing for the hearing increasing your likelihood of a successful result.

If interested in reading more about the process visit the page here: Arizona DES Unemployment Appeal

If you have an Arizona Department of Economic Security ("DES") Unemployment Hearing and would like representation contact The Zoldan Law Group at 480-442-3410.

Arizona EEOC Charge Determination Letter

JULY 11, 2013

Our employment law website has a new page dedicated to a discussion of an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (" EEOC") Letter of Determination.

If the EEOC determines there is reasonable cause to believe discrimination has occurred the charging party will be issued a Letter of Determination stating that there is reasonable cause to believe that a violation/discrimination occurred.

If interested in reading more about the process visit the page here: Arizona EEOC Letter of Determination.

If you have been issued a Letter of Determination from the EEOC in Arizona please contact The Zoldan Law Group immediately to determine your best course of action. You have a limited period of time to file a lawsuit, so contact us at 480.442.3410 or email us at info@chelle-zoldan.com.

New Employment Video Created For The Zoldan Law Group

JULY 11, 2013

The The Zoldan Law Group is extremely excited to introduce a new video that was recently created for one of their websites! As one of the elite Phoenix Employment Lawyer duos, The Zoldan Law Group provide exceptional representation in employment matters.

The intention for the 52 second video was to provide viewers with more information about the firm in an interactive matter. Immediately upon coming across the homepage, browsers will now be able to watch this embedded YouTube clip.

To view this video, simply click on the following link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=89OT3IArdFw

Slander by an Employer

AUGUST 14, 2012

Being slandered by anyone, let alone, an employer can affect a person's career as well as cause personal harm. Many people do not realize that it is a civil offense and yet there has been supportive law for over 700 years. It began in the year 1275 where it was forbidden to spread false news and tales. These laws have spilled over from England and adopted into United States laws.

Defamation itself is the offense of injuring a person's character or reputation by false statements in written form (libel) or oral form (slander). It is more of a challenge to prove slander if you have no witnesses or statements because it's a verbal offense. The compensation in slander cases are usually monetary awards given to victims, acting as a punishment for the offender. To prove slander, a victim must have experienced a fight or lower esteem that resulted from a face-to-face verbal confrontation that escalated in front of a substantial grouping of people.

Within the state of Arizona they have fine-tuned the Defamation law to clearly impart its boundaries and meaning that are considered to be elements this civil offense:

  • Making a false statement concerning the victim/plaintiff;
  • The statement made was considered defamatory;
  • The statement was published to a third party;
  • The requisite fault on the part of the defendant; and
  • The victim/plaintiff was damaged as a result of the statement.

In Arizona a defamation claim for slander is similar to general the general defamation law with the exception of Defamation Per Se which are statements that are distinguished by slander per se and slander per quod.

Slander Per Se involves statements or charges of a contagious or venereal disease, or that woman is not chaste; or tends to injure a person in his/her profession, trade, or business; or imputes the commission of a crime involving moral turpitude.

Slander Per Quod involves all statements or charges that are not Slander Per Se.

There is reasoning behind the state of Arizona distinguishing the differences because it affects the type of damages a plaintiff must allege to prevail for Slander Per Se. To recover for Slander Per Quod a plaintiff must allege special damages, lost profits or other "pecuniary loss." In contrast to that, to recover for Sander Per Se, a plaintiff does not have to allege special damages; they simply allege non-pecuniary damages, such as damage to their reputation. The damages are presumed if actual malice is proven and the defamation involves a matter of purely private concern. This applies to private individuals and organizations, however excludes the various types of famous and public officials. The courts in Arizona will apply malice and negligence standard to defamation cases of private persons that seek compensatory damages.

4 Keys to an Effective Employment Agreement

JULY 30, 2012

One of the most important steps of hiring a new employee is the signing of an employment agreement which is a legal document that outlines all of the essential terms and conditions of a person's employment with a company. Employment agreements may seem a bit intimidating to look at and read, however it is composed of a few key points and clauses which are crucial for both the employer and the employee to agree upon.

Term

One essential part of an employment agreement is the duration of which a person will be working at a company. This can include specific details such as date of hire, date of termination (if hiring an employee as a contractor), and the renewable provisions applicable with mutual consent of each party.

Duties

Another essential part of the employment agreement is the duties of the employee. This should outline the responsibilities within a specific position that an employee must fulfill, in addition to the duties that the employer is expected to fulfill. These can include details about annual compensation, health benefits and allowances that the employer is willing to provide the employee in exchange for services rendered.

Confidential Information

Many employers will include a Confidential Information clause in an employment agreement which states that employees must keep company information confidential and must not disclose any of the information to third-parties during the tenure of the agreement. This is an important part of the employment agreement for every company as it legally protects them from their employees revealing or disclosing the confidential information to other parties.

Non-Competition

Another important part of an employment agreement is if a business includes a section about non-competition or requires the employee to sign a non-compete agreement. This means that the employee agrees to not work directly or indirectly with a company competitor or any other business which is seen as detrimental to the interest of the company during his or her tenure, agreement duration period, or for a specific declared amount of time. Non-compete agreements protect companies from proprietary information being utilized by a former employee to the detriment of the employer.

These are the important key points of an employment agreement for a company when they are extending an offer to a new hire. While hiring a new employee is an exciting moment for both the company and the individual, it is important to have an employment agreement set out that clearly explains the terms and conditions for both parties.