The employment relationship is one of the foundations upon which modern society and the greater economy is built, but the nature of this relationship can be both complex and confusing. This course seeks to demystify the ways that U.S. contract law principles govern the fundamental relationship between employers and employees. We begin by examining the default rule of at-will employment that applies to most U.S. employment relationships, and we then consider the necessary elements required to create a binding employment relationship. We also explore how courts interpret the content of employment agreements as well as what factors courts consider in awarding damages when an employment agreement is breached. Finally, we take a deeper dive into employment-related agreements such as non-disclosure agreements, non-disparagement agreements, and mandatory arbitration clauses, and how the law has evolved to keep up with the changing nature of the fundamental employment relationship.
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