Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Employment agreements in the post-Mozilla/Clippers environment

Jane was ecstatic. She had finally landed her dream job, with her dream company. The salary was generous, and the benefits were superb. She had just finished her interview with the company vice president, and was now headed to Human Resources to complete the final paperwork.

"Here's the employment agreement," said the HR guy. "The signature page is on page 6."

"OK," responded Jane. "Let me take a look at it."

"Oh, it's just standard stuff," said the HR guy - a response that guaranteed that Jane would read every paragraph.

Paragraph 10.2 stopped her cold:

EMPLOYER reserves the right to terminate EMPLOYEE based upon any political activity, including advocacy and monetary contributions.

Jane spoke up. "But paragraph 10.2 is illegal under California law. I can't be fired for political contributions."

The HR guy paused before responding. "We're incorporated in Delaware."

Jane kept reading until she got to paragraph 10.7.

EMPLOYER reserves the right to terminate EMPLOYEE based upon any conversation, public or private. EMPLOYER expressly reserves this right regardless of how the conversation transcript was obtained.

"I can't sign up to paragraph 10.7!" exclaimed Jane.

"Everybody signs up to paragraph 10.7," replied the HR guy. "Even the owner of the company."
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