Employment Agreement

When taking on an occupation at a company, some employees, managers, or executives are requested to engage in an employment agreement.  An employment agreement typically consists of some written form or documents draw up between an employer and employee.  Within the written employment agreement, a number of terms, responsibilities, duties, and compensation means are articulated between the employee and employer.  Additionally, some employers will utilize an oral employment agreement to solidify the at-will working status of an employee.  Unfortunately, a large number of companies and employers do not enact an employment agreement in the good faith with their employees or other issues arise during the course of the employment period.

Employment Agreement Disputes

Each year, the Bureau of Labor issues citations and sanctions on thousands of companies failing to following United States employment laws.  These violations are then punished by the Bureau of Labor and compensation to victimized workers is dispersed as well.  Employment agreement contract disputes, however, generally do not involve violations of labor laws that will warrant intervention by a government agency, whether federal or otherwise.  In these matters, typically a civil dispute between an employer and a single employee, common civil law tactics are necessary to resolve any disagreement. 

When reviewing an employment agreement, a number of items should be included in the documents, assuming the employment contract was not made orally, which essentially is inadmissible and unsupported in a civil litigation dispute inside a court of law. 

Elements of an Employment Agreement

The items potentially covered in employment agreements concerning the terms of the employee’s actions and expectation prior, during, and after employment include:

  • Workplace duties
  • Length of employment
  • Wage compensation agreements
  • Bonus structures
  • Vacation, medical, and personal leave schedules
  • Incentive packages
  • Ownership of intellectual property such as patents, copyrights, and trademarks
  • Health insurance benefits
  • Severance package agreements
  • Non-compete agreements
  • Non-disclosure clauses
  • Non-disparagement covenants
  • Mediation/arbitration affidavits
  • Other restrictive clauses during and following employment
  • Communication with future employers
  • Eligibility status for unemployment benefits, government and otherwise

Role of Agreement at Termination of Employment

At the time of termination of employment, the employment agreement plays an integral role in any current or potential future disputes between workers and their employers.  A number of issues commonly arise for employees being terminated by a company, and they should be aware of their rights.  For example according to law, all earned and unused vacation time must be paid to the employee following their termination, as well as any profits from pending sales that the employee was involved.  Additionally, disputes over property ownership, whether tangible or intellectual, can be a highly contested issue in some instances.  The unique nature of each case and any valid employment agreement will dictate the possibility of an employee using an employment law violation lawyer to litigate his or her case successfully in court.  Some employers will anticipate a non-amicable dissolution of employment, and in their employment agreement, these companies will include a claims to be waived clause, which basically forces an employee to relinquish any legal right to file suit against a company following termination.  The validity of these agreements and the employment agreement in general must be highly scrutinized by an experienced employment lawyer in any employment agreement dispute.

Illegal Termination of Employment

There a number of scenarios, which unscrupulous employers will use to facilitate the termination of an employee on the grounds of employment agreements that are illegal. 

Some of the potential claims a terminated employee may make against an employer include:

  • Violations of federal, state, or local labor laws
  • Breech of employment agreement contracts
  • Misrepresentation
  • Defamation
  • Tortious interference

In a claim of misrepresentation, an employee will argue that an employer did not fulfill the obligations and promises offered in the employment agreement or otherwise.  These include utilizing an employee’s services for a period time, although not on a 1099 basis, and terminating them once the desired work is complete. Defamation involves intra and inter company defamation, which essentially involves an employer or supervisor using slander or libel to facilitate an employee’s termination.  Another example of illegal firing practices includes some parts of defamation and is known as tortious defamation.  In tortious defamation, a third party convinces another party to end an employment or working relationship with an employee on illegal or unethical grounds.  All these issues can be rectified and client’s rights regained through an employment agreement contract litigation case.  An employment law attorney can help you or your loved one today.

Do you or someone you love feel an employer violated an employment agreement contract?  Contact an employment law attorney right away to allocate damages stemming from employment agreement contract violations and other labor law violations today.

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