While most employees are employed at will, some employees receive a written employment contract at the beginning of the employment relationship. This contract may provide for a specified term of employment.
The employment contract often requires the employee to protect confidential business information and trade secrets. It also may require the employee to assign any intellectual property to the company or contain restrictive covenants, such as a non-compete or non-solicitation agreement.
An employment contract may specify when and how the agreement can be terminated and what benefits, if any, the employee will receive upon termination.
An executive employment contract may include complex restrictive covenants and potential investments in a company. The employment agreement may call for specified incentive awards. The executive should understand all obligations to the former employer, and any pro-rata bonuses or other incentive awards if the employment relationship were to end.
Before signing a contract with a new employer, it makes sense to hire a lawyer to review the contract. The employee needs to be clear on what he or she is agreeing to when signing the contract.
Sometimes the employee can negotiate improved language or better terms, such as an increase in salary, an improvement in a restrictive covenant or protection of the employee’s own intellectual property created before accepting the job.
When presented with an employment contract to sign and you want help, contact us by clicking Tell Us About Your Problem and filling in the questionnaire.