The employment attorneys at E&L, LLP help employees negotiate employment agreements. Before an employee begins a new job, the employee may be asked to sign an employment agreement. This document outlines the terms and conditions of employment. Like many other legal documents, the terms and conditions of employment can be negotiated.
Sometimes, the terms of an employment agreement offered to an employee are illegal. Even when they are not, they can be unreasonable to the point of impeding the employee’s rights and opportunities.
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What can be included in an employment agreement?
An employment agreement generally includes some or all of the following:
- General information about the position;
- The employee’s compensation, including benefits and, potentially, stock or stock options;
- Company policies for personal days, sick time, and vacation time; and
- A confidentiality and trade secrets agreement.
Compensation from an employer is more than just a regular paycheck. In many companies, it includes healthcare insurance and other benefits. It can also include stock options, which are the employee’s right to purchase stock in the company at a specific price after being part of the company for a specific period of time.
In California, non-compete agreements are illegal under most circumstances. These are agreements that prohibit employees from working for an employer’s competitors or soliciting an employer’s clients after the employee’s employment with the employer has ended. Despite this, some California employers ask their employees to sign these agreements. It is also not uncommon for California workers employed by companies based in other states to be asked to sign these agreements. Employees who are asked to sign a non-compete agreement may want to have an employment attorney review it before signing.
What is a Severance Agreement?
In certain circumstances, an employer who terminates an employee may offer the employee a severance agreement. Such an agreement typically offers the employee some additional compensation in exchange for the employee’s agreement not to pursue legal claims against the employer. The agreement may include other terms, such as requiring the employee to keep the agreement confidential or requiring the employee not to disparage an employee. Employees who are offered a severance agreement may want to have an attorney review the agreement prior to signing.
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