Author Archives: Kevin Ha

About Kevin Ha

Kevin is an associate in Dorsey’s Labor & Employment Group. He has represented and advised employers in a range of matters involving state and federal law, including discrimination, harassment, employee leave, wage and hour issues, and enforcement of non-compete agreements. Kevin also has significant experience counseling employers on their employment policies and practices.

Quirky Question #262, An update on Wisconsin non-competes

Question:

We are a Wisconsin employer that recently lost a number of employees to a direct competitor in our region.  As a result, we are now in the process of having all of our employees sign non-compete agreements prohibiting them from working for a competitor for a limited period of time after leaving our company.  Assuming that the non-compete agreement is reasonable, we are wondering whether we need to provide any additional compensation to each employee, or if simply having them sign the agreement on the condition that if they do not sign, we will terminate their employment, is sufficient.  We remember that you mentioned that Wisconsin law was unsettled in this area and are wondering if there have been any recent updates that could help us in our decision.

Answer→

Quirky Question #237, Badger your employees to sign new non-competes?

Question:

We are a Wisconsin employer that has recently lost a number of employees to competing companies in our area. We’re worried our competitors are getting an unfair edge in the market, basically using employees we’ve spent time and resources training to compete against us. It doesn’t seem fair. Unfortunately, it didn’t occur to us to have our employees sign non-compete agreements back when we hired them. In light of all this, we wish to have our remaining employees sign non-compete agreements as a condition of their continued employment with us. If an employee refuses to sign, then we plan to terminate him/her. Assuming we craft a reasonable non-compete agreement, is there any problem with this course of action? Answer→

Quirky Question # 227, New Bells and Whistles in Minnesota Statute

Question:

We have an employee who we have been planning to terminate because of performance issues.  This employee may have realized this was coming because he recently sent an email to a number of people claiming that our company policies violate the law.  We have been aware of these possible problems before his emails were sent and already have been working on correcting them.  We suspect this employee may have sent these emails simply to shield himself from termination.  We are concerned that we may be subject to a “whistleblower” claim if we terminate this employee.  Can we still fire him despite his emails? Answer→

Quirky Question #214, Christmas Bonus as Part of Regular Rate of Pay When Calculating Overtime Pay

Question:

 Each year, we provide our employees with a Christmas bonus of varying amounts.  We’ve always done this because we want to reward our employees for a hard year of work and also spread a bit of holiday cheer.  We were recently told by someone that we may have to pay additional overtime wages if we keep giving our employees a Christmas bonus.  We don’t want to take away the Christmas bonus since our employees really appreciate it, but we might have to if this is true.  Is this person right and is this true in Minnesota and Iowa? Answer→

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