Risk avoidance provisions in employment contracts are a growing trend in the workplace, especially in executive employment agreements in the sports and entertainment world. Often referred to as a “morality clause,” this type of contractual provision affords employers the opportunity proactively to set moral standards, ethical expectations, and consequences for conduct that the employer determines to be disreputable. Some industries place a premium on public image and utilize this type of contractual clause to regulate the public perception of higher-level employees. For instance, the University of Arkansas terminated its football coach, Bobby Petrino, for violating his contract, which included a morality clause and allowed the university to terminate him for “engaging in conduct, as solely determined by the University, which is clearly contrary to the character and responsibilities of a person occupying the position of Head Football Coach or which negatively or adversely affects the reputation of the University’s or UAF’s Athletics Program in any way.”
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