Employment Agreement Attorneys in San Jose, California
As a business owner and employer, you know that having loyal and capable employees is one of the most important steps you can take to ensure success. However, finding and hiring good people can be difficult and takes time and money. When you find someone who’s a good fit for your business, you need to have everything set up so they can thrive in their new position and so you can be assured you have a legally-binding employment agreement in place that protects you as well. Writing out an effective employment agreement is a crucial step in the hiring process, and it shouldn’t be done alone.
If you’d like to speak with a business law attorney who can help you craft a comprehensive employee contract, contact us at Mosaic Law, P.C. for help. We can help business clients in San Jose, California, and throughout South County, San Juaquin County, Santa Clara Valley, and the Santa Cruz Mountains.
If you’re just starting out your business or have recently hired your first employees, you may be asking yourself, “What is an employment agreement?” Simply put, an employment agreement (or employment contract) is a legally-binding document that’s signed by both the employer and the employee that outlines each person’s responsibilities. It will also outline the specifics of the job, such as the salary and benefits, the duration of the job, what confidentiality restrictions are in place regarding trade secrets or private company information, and the grounds for termination will be. This last point is crucial because the contract will clearly specify what an employee must do to be fired, and how conflicts will be resolved, and it puts limits on the employer’s action.
While it’s true that not all new employees will need a unique contract, it's often a good idea if you’re concerned about confidential business information getting into the wrong hands via an ex-employee or if you’re afraid your new hire will quit too early. A contract can include non-disclosure agreements and set a duration for employment that gives you enough time to fully train them and integrate them into your business. If they decide to break the contract before their employment term is over, there will be penalties associated with this. Additionally, setting out the terms for new employees can help you draw in top candidates who want the job security that comes with a long-term contract.
There are also a few drawbacks to using employment agreements, and the biggest is the restrictions it can put on you as the employer. Remember, both the employee and the employer have to sign on to the terms, and if you later find you’re not happy with your new hire, you may be stuck with them for longer than you’d like. You can still let them go, but you’ll be bound to whatever severance terms were set out in the contract.
When Should They Be Used?
An employment contract is ideal if you need to guard valuable and secretive information that your company uses to gain profit. A good contract can put legal parameters in place to protect this information, and if the agreement is breached, you will have grounds for legal recourse. A contract may also be useful if you’re concerned about the longevity of your new employees and you want to ensure they’re with the company long enough to fully learn the job and contribute to the business. This is especially useful if you know your competitors are also pursuing the same quality candidates as you.
As long as you work with an experienced business law attorney when writing your agreements, you can include any clauses that are specific to your business. This is often a confidentiality clause, but it can include a non-compete clause that prevents the employee from taking a job with one of your direct competitors after they stop working for you.
How It Affects At-Will Employment
An at-will employment contract is different from an employee agreement, and generally, you will need to choose one or the other when hiring new people. When an employee signs an at-will agreement, you are both agreeing that you can fire them any time you like (“at” your “will”) and for any reason as long as it’s legal. This is often done through a simple contract or by having the new employee sign off that they have read and understood the terms in the employee handbook.
Employment Agreement Attorneys Serving San Jose, California
At Mosaic Law, P.C., we understand how much your business means to you and how hard you’ve worked to make your dream a reality. As such, you need protocols in place that protect it, and implementing employee agreements is one of the best ways to achieve this. If you’re in San Jose or anywhere in San Juaquin County, California, and would like more information, call us today to schedule a consultation.