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Tailoring a Consent Inquiry to Fit Individual Employment Contracts

29 Pages Posted: 14 Feb 2013  

Lisa J. Bernt

Northeastern University School of Law

Date Written: Fall 2012


This article looks at the fundamental requirement of consent in contracts, and tailors the consent inquiry to fit the particular setting of individual employment contracts. It borrows from the approach some courts have used to assess the validity of waivers of various statutory rights. Those courts look to a non-exclusive set of factors to assess whether the waiver was knowing and voluntary. It also looks at the manner in which courts determine the validity of premarital agreements. Courts pay particular attention to whether the parties entered a premarital agreement knowingly and volun-tarily, and consider various factors, including the opportunity and ability to review and consider the agreement, external pressures on consent, the relative sophistication of the parties, and whether the parties had disclosed financial and other information to each other. Such a consent inquiry also needs to address the particular concerns that arise at various points along the employment relationship.

Keywords: employment, contracts, consent

Suggested Citation

Bernt, Lisa J., Tailoring a Consent Inquiry to Fit Individual Employment Contracts (Fall 2012). Syracuse Law Review, Vol. 63, No. 1, 2012. Available at SSRN:

Lisa J. Bernt (Contact Author)

Northeastern University School of Law ( email )

416 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
United States
617-390-2544 (Phone)

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