Tailored contracts, reflecting the current state of the law, are a must for employers and key employees. A variety of agreements may be necessary, depending on business needs. We have extensive experience drafting and negotiating agreements for both employers and individuals, in a variety of sectors ranging from technology to non-profit organizations.
Executive Employment Agreements
The terms unique to each individual situation can vary in complexity with compensation structures and stock options. Setting clear expectations regarding incentive compensation, job scope and severance are but a few examples of important provisions for executive agreements.
Severance and Release Agreements
Layoffs and other employee terminations frequently include offers of severance payments in exchange for the employee executing a release of claims. These agreements must comply with the Age Discrimination in Employment Act for those over age 40 and otherwise include all pertinent provisions for departing employees, such as return of company data and property.
Confidentiality and Proprietary Information Agreements (aka Nondisclosure Agreements or NDAs)
Protecting trade secrets, confidential and proprietary information is crucial to all businesses – requiring contracts that courts will enforce and employees will understand. If you have employees in different states, it is crucial to ensure that your agreements will pass muster in each state.
The area of binding arbitration, as well as arbitration of class action claims, continually evolves as the courts refine the terms that are acceptable. Overstepping the bounds can result in an unenforceable agreement that, in turn, leads to litigating the case in court (which is what you were trying to avoid with an arbitration agreement). Employers must also consider whether binding arbitration is right for their workplace culture and employee population.
Incentive and Commission Plans
Employers can save themselves big headaches by explicitly defining the terms of incentive, commission and other compensation plans. Considerations include how and when a bonus or commission is considered “earned,” when it becomes payable and how employee terminations and leaves of absence are handled.