EMPLOYMENT MATTERS

Relations between employees and employers are governed by state, federal, and local law, as well as by any agreements made between the parties.

 

We work with our clients, both employers, and employees, to assure that any contracts they sign protect their interests and are in compliance with the relevant laws.

 

There are three major types of contracts we often see in the employment field:

 

  1. Employment Agreements

  2. Severance Agreements

  3. Independent Contractor Agreements

 

Employment Agreements

 

Employment agreements typically spell out the terms of employment, which may include things such as:

 

 

  • Job description and responsibilities

  • Employment term

  • Salary

  • Benefits, including things such as vacation, sick days, insurance, retirement contributions, etc.

  • Ownership of materials created by the employee, including intellectual property and assignment of any patents

  • Grounds for termination of employment

  • Description of how any disputes would be resolved

  • Confidentiality of the employer’s proprietary information. (Sometimes a Nondisclosure Agreement (NDA) is a separate document and sometimes it is incorporated into an employment agreement.)

 

Non-Competes

 

Additionally, some employment agreements include a non-compete provision. For both employers and employees, non-compete agreements require special care.

Employers don’t want employees to be able to take company secrets or knowledge to a competitor; employees want to be able to find new work in their field if they leave the company.

 

Some states won’t enforce employee non-competes at all. When non-compete agreements are enforced by courts, the courts usually look to see if the agreement is “reasonable.”

We help both employers and employees deal with non-compete issues.

 

Severance Agreements

 

Severance agreements are very common in situations where someone’s employment is involuntarily terminated.

 

By having terminated employees sign a severance agreement, employers can reduce their risk of being sued later. We help our employer clients make sure their severance agreements protect their interests and comply with all relevant laws.

 

Severance issues of concern to employees include:

 

  • If there are potential grounds for a lawsuit, would it be better to sue?

  • Amount of severance payment

  • Payment for accrued benefits, such as vacation or sick pay

  • Other benefits, such as COBRA

  • Restrictions in non-compete clauses

  • Accelerated vesting of stock options

 

We help our employee clients make sure they understand what they’re signing so that they don’t give up any rights unknowingly.

 

Independent Contractor Agreements

 

When a company hires an independent contractor, there is no legal requirement to have a formal contract – but it’s a very good idea to have one.

 

For example, when a contractor is creating intellectual property (such as computer code or website copy) the client may not have clear ownership rights without a properly drafted contract.

 

There are also many important legal and tax implications related to whether someone has the legal status of an employee or an independent contractor.

 

Simply saying that someone is an “independent contractor,” and paying that person without withholding taxes (via a 1099), doesn’t necessarily make that person an independent contractor in the eyes of the law. The person has to actually be treated like a contractor rather than and employee.

 

We help both employers and contractors understand the legal issues involved in independent contractor status, and in making sure any agreements comply with the relevant laws.

Contact Us Today
484-562-0473

We serve the following localities: Bucks County including Bensalem, Doylestown, and Morrisville; Montgomery County including Ambler, Collegeville, Glenside, and Norristown; Philadelphia County including Philadelphia; Atlantic County including Atlantic City; Burlington County including Burlington, Marlton, and Mount Holly Township; Camden County including Camden; Cumberland County including Bridgeton and Vineland; Gloucester County including Deptford Township, Sewell, and Woodbury; and Salem County including Pennsville Township and Salem.

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