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Is an Employment Contract Always Enforceable?

A Philadelphia employment contract lawyer should be consulted if you are drafting an employment contract for your employees to sign. If you are starting a job and are asked to sign a contract, or if an employer is trying to enforce a contract against you, you should also talk with an experienced attorney. 

There are strict rules for restraints on trade that can affect whether or not an employment contract, or specific clauses within that contract, are going to be enforceable or not. An attorney can help you to draft an agreement that will be enforced if you are an employer, and can provide assistance to employers in trying to enforce contract provisions. A Philadelphia employment lawyer can also provide assistance to employees in reviewing a contract to make sure its terms are fair to you, and in responding if an employer is trying to enforce a contract against you that is unfair.

Curley & Rothman, LLC has provided representation to both employers and employees in a wide variety of legal situations related to employment contracts. We help with negotiating and drafting agreements; interpreting and understanding agreements; or arguing for or against the enforceability of an employment contract. Give us a call to get help determining if a contract is legally valid and for assistance with other legal issues arising from employment contracts.

Is an Employment Contract Enforceable?

There are a number of factors that will determine whether an employment contract is enforceable or not. One issue is whether formalities of contract formation were followed. For example, consideration is an essential element of a contract. Consideration refers to a bargained for exchange, or an exchange of something of value. An attorney can provide you with information on consideration as well as on additional requirements for a contract to be valid.

There are also special rules and restrictions regarding the enforceability of specific clauses that are frequently a part of employment contracts. For example, it is common for an employment contract to contain clauses such as a non-compete clause; a non-solicitation clause; and a non-disclosure clause.

Provisions prohibiting an employee from disclosing proprietary information, soliciting clients, or immediately going to work for a competitor are very important to protect the interests of a company. However, these types of clauses can be considered unlawful restraints on trade and may not be enforced if they are overly broad and impose a substantial burden on the ability of an employee to make a living once he leaves a job.

A non-compete, a non-solicitation agreement, and a non-disclosure agreement are all classified as restrictive covenants. In general, in order for restrictive covenants to be enforceable within the state of Pennsylvania, the covenant has to be ancillary to the relationship between the employee and employer. It must be supported by adequate consideration, and continued employment is not considered sufficient consideration under Pennsylvania law. The restriction which the restrictive covenant imposes has to be reasonably necessary in order to safeguard an employer’s legitimate interest; and the restriction which is being imposed upon the employee has to be reasonably limited both in the duration of the time that it remains in effect and in the geographic scope of the restriction.

If any of these specific factors do not exist, then the particular clause may not necessarily be enforceable. If one particular clause is not enforceable, it will not necessarily render the entire employment contract invalid, as the clause may be severable.

Whether the contract as a whole or any particular clause will or will not be enforced will be determined by the court in light of the nature of the contract and the specifics of the contract language that the court is evaluating. An experienced attorney can provide assistance in determining if a particular clause or an entire employment contract is enforceable or not.

Getting Help from A Philadelphia Employment Contract Lawyer

Employment contracts can protect both an employer’s rights and an employee’s rights when properly negotiated and drafted. When the formalities of drafting a contract are followed, the agreements can also be enforceable in a court of law. It is important to make certain that you understand your rights and obligations in relation to an employment contract. A Philadelphia employment lawyer at Curley & Rothman, LLC can provide the help that you need.

Our legal team has assisted companies and employees with a wide variety of legal issues related to employment agreements. Give us a call at 610-834-8819 or contact us to talk with a Philadelphia employment contract lawyer today to find out how we can put our legal experience to work for you.

Employment LawScott Rothman