Entering into contracts of employment with all employees is a basic yet critical task in establishing and communicating the framework on which each unique employment relationship is ultimately based. It has never been more important to enter into standardized employment agreements which protect and maintain what is likely a company’s most valuable resource.
In the beginning of every employee and employer relationship, everyone is happy. Employees are excited to be part of the team, motivated to reach their goals and usually satisfied with their expected compensation. Everyone is on the same page, everyone is optimistic. Unfortunately, sometimes things change and a company may become dissatisfied with an employee’s work product, the company may change paths or an employee may become disenfranchised with their growth in the company. A well written employment agreement provides security to both parties in understanding their rights, in advance, if and when these situations arise.
Implementing standardized or “form” employment agreements for all employees of a company provides significant benefits to both the employee and employer, including:
- Identical contractual rights and obligations for all employees (unless an agreement is uniquely negotiated), with the employer’s managers and officers becoming well versed and familiar with these rights and obligations;
- Clear communication of an employee’s responsibilities and duties, including all performance requirements and company benchmarks;
- Clear communication of an employee’s compensation, avoiding any confusion with respect to salary, overtime, incentive compensation, benefits and expected raises;
- Protection of the confidential and proprietary information and intellectual property of the company;
- Protection of an employer’s legitimate commercial interests and customers through the inclusion of enforceable and properly tailored non-competition and non-solicitation clauses;
- Clear communication of termination rights (which usually involve at-will arraingments), including what constitutes a for “Cause” termination and understanding of what happens upon an employee’s termination (notification requirements, severance, etc.); and
- An optional offer of reasonable severance to terminated employees coupled with the inclusion of an ironclad release of all employee claims against an employer, preventing future disputes and potential litigation.
The deployment of standardized contracts of employment significantly increase a company’s likelihood of maintaining productive and mutually advantageous relationships with its employees.
Stock Legal, LLC routinely works hand-in-hand with our clients, on a fixed-fee basis, to draft and specifically tailor these standardized employment agreements to fit the unique needs of each client’s business. Clients can then run with and implement the final form for all employees of their company, only coming back to us for counsel with respect to drafting variable language specific to a new hire (generally, the duties of the employee and employee’s compensation). The security and stability which comes with papering every employer / employee relationship with a standardized employment agreement cannot be overstated.