Sign this or get terminated...

Recently, my employer is requiring a portion of the staff to sign a "code of ethics" agreement. While I find the contents agreeable for the most part, there seems to be a good portion of the contract that deals with areas that I wouldn't consider to be an ethical statement. For instance, the coporation is insisting that any work performed outside of said corporation must be first approved by the coporation. It also goes into intellectual property matters.

Additionally, the company is threatening the jobs of anyone that does not sign this "code of ethics" agreement. I'm not sure if the entire staff is required to sign this agreement or not.

Is it legal for a company to require an employee to sign a statement/contract (been there for several years) under the threat of termination?

This is a free-will employer.

1 answer  |  asked Oct 25, 2002 08:52 AM [EST]  |  applies to Massachusetts

Answers (1)

Evan Fray-Witzer
I'm afraid so...

In general, companies are allowed to enact policies like these and to require employees to sign them as a condition of employment or, in your case, continued employment. The Massachusetts Courts have held that continued employment is sufficient "consideration" to make these agreements enforceable. If you have a special situation, though, you can always try to talk to the company about modifying the agreement to meet your needs...

Good luck.

posted by Evan Fray-Witzer  |  Oct 25, 2002 10:17 AM [EST]

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