A few years ago I addressed venue provisions in employment contracts (see below). A few additional thoughts –
- A provision that specifies venue in a particular county, i.e. Dallas County, Texas or city may not always work – while Texas courts will enforce a provision that specifies Texas as the place of venue they won’t necessarily a county or city (there are some exceptions) – So you could have a situation where the dispute is resolved in Texas but not necessarily the forum specified in the contract.
- There is a venue provision that some courts (it’s complicated) have held that a defendant must be sued in their county of residence when the primary relief sought is injunctive.
Regardless, still include a venue provision that provides for a specific county.
Post From May 2018
Whenever I draft or review an employment agreement (or for that matter any contract) one of the first things I look for is a venue provision. Usually there is one, but if not you fall back on the laws of the state the party would like to bring suit in to see if venue works. There is nothing that will take the steam out of a lawsuit then the contention it was filed in the wrong place. Drafting tip – make sure there is a venue provision.
So, assuming there is a venue provision it’s likely there is a choice of law provision as well. Often times the venue provision will require an employee to agree to venue in the state/city where the employer is located. The idea from the employer’s standpoint is it would rather enforce its agreements in the place where it is located and in most cases under the same laws. The provision will look something like this: