Employee Handbook TermsDuring or after a divorce, it is not unusual for lifestyle changes that include moving and/or seeking a new job. Employment practices vary widely, some include a written contract, and others include a written employee handbook, while many are hired as independent contractors, with no employee rights.

Employment Perks Are on The Rise

Recent news reports have highlighted the increase in employment perks at a variety of big and small businesses. For example, Walmart is now offering advance pay options for its employees in order to help them avoid payday loan sharks. Walmart has also joined several other large employers by increasing paid maternity and family leave. At least one small business is now offering “fur-ternity” leave for a new puppy in the home!

The Fine Print of an Employment Contract or Employee Handbook

Even if you’re not asked to sign a written contract, acceptance of the job may mean that you have accepted all the terms of their employment policies often found in the employee handbook. Many employers include employment restrictions that should be understood before accepting that new job offer. In fact, if your new salary is high enough, you should consider getting your own personal legal advice to understand the consequences.

Key Terms For Employment Contracts and Handbooks 

1. Non-compete: Applies after you leave their employment and prohibits you from working for a competitor within a certain mile radius or until after a certain time period, or taking any clients with you to start your own similar business

2. NDA (Non-disclosure agreement): Prohibits you from publicly disclosing trade secrets or other confidential information such as the terms of any resignation or termination agreement

3. Mandatory Arbitration: Prohibits you from filing suit over most employment issues and requires any dispute to be resolved through a specific arbitration process

4. Sexual Harassment: Details how any sexual harassment complaint will be handled by or against the employee

5. Social Media Use: Any restrictions on your social media use which may conflict with the values of your new employer should be disclosed.

6. Employment at Will: This is a phrase that usually means you can be terminated for any reason.

We’ll help During Your Divorce Process

We will address all of your legal needs during the divorce process, and if necessary, we’ll make referrals to other professionals that we trust, including employment lawyers when you need assistance with any new job. Contact the Law Office of Molly B Kenny or call us at 425.460.0550.


Molly B. Kenny
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Divorce and Child Custody Attorney Serving Bellevue and Seattle Washington
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