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A Corporate Law Attorney Can Help With Employment Agreements

When you are forming a partnership or you are bringing on new employees at your existing business, you should strongly consider consulting with a corporate law attorney to discuss whether you need employment agreements and to get help creating an agreement.  Employment agreements are not required, and are not used for every job. However, there are times when the creation of such an agreement makes sense. If you need an employment agreement, you should have legal help when you draft it to ensure that it protects your organization.

A Conshohocken corporate law attorney at Curley & Rothman, LLC can provide invaluable assistance with the drafting of an employment agreement. We understand how to write an enforceable agreement with clauses that protect you or that protect your business. We not only represent employers in the creation of these agreements but we can also provide assistance to employees by reviewing proposed contracts to let them know if it is in their best interests to sign or if negotiating some terms is advisable.

To learn more about employment agreements and to get help with an agreement as either an employer or as an employee, give us a call today.  

Creating Employment Agreements

Employment agreements are contracts between an employer and an employee. The agreements usually specify some of the key terms of employment. The agreements may also detail what an employer expects from a worker and what an employer will guarantee or provide to the worker.

It is common for employment agreements to be created when two or more people form a partnership and the co-owners of the partnership will be actively working for the company on a day-to-day basis. The employment agreements can help delineate responsibility among the employees so there is no confusion over who will do what tasks and so there is less potential for disagreements among the partners.

Employment agreements can also be useful when workers are hired in jobs that require specific unique skills, that are best performed by people who will stay with the company for at least a minimum period of time, or that could cause problems by leaving the company and immediately going to competitors or taking clients with him.

A corporate law attorney can carefully review your situation to determine if it is advisable to create employment agreements. Because these agreements can impose binding obligations and often remove an employee from the category of an at will worker who can be hired or fired at any time, making the choice to draft an agreement can have big consequences.

If you have decided to create an employment agreement, some of the things that the contract could potentially include, depending upon your goals, include details on:

  • The length of time the employee is expected to remain at the job (this could be a set period, or indefinitely).
  • The responsibilities the worker will have within the organization.
  • The benefits that the employer will provide to the employee.
  • The compensation that the employee will receive.
  • The grounds for terminating the employee and the process an employer will take for discipline and/or termination.
  • Non-compete agreements limiting the employee's ability to go and work for competitors immediately after leaving employment.
  • Non-disclosure agreements and other protections for client lists and company trade secrets.
  • Who owns the rights to work product produced by the employee on company time.
  • A dispute resolution process.

When an employment agreement has been drafted, it is imperative that both parties follow the provisions set forth in the contract. If the employer does not follow disciplinary procedures, for example, an employee could end up suing for wrongful termination if he or she is fired. If an employee leaves the company and takes a client list with or goes to a competitor, an employer could sue for an injunction to stop the employee's behavior and for damages if the actions cause loss.

While employment contracts can be beneficial in setting forth expectations and protecting employers, the downsides also make some employers wary of using these contracts. Employee handbooks can also be a useful alternative to employment agreements. As the Small Business Administration explains, handbooks can set standards of conduct, anti-discrimination policies, and disciplinary procedures.

How a Conshohocken Corporate Law Attorney Can Help

If you need help from a Conshohocken corporate law attorney with drafting an employment law agreement, Curley & Rothman, LLC can provide you with the advice and assistance that you require. Give us a call at 610-834-8819 or contact us today to schedule your consultation and learn more about how we can help your organization or how we can help you to review a contract an employer is suggesting you sign.