Unfortunately, we don’t work in our father’s world, where everyone pretty much stayed at the same job until they retired. Instead, we live in a world where people bounce around from job to job due mostly to job insecurity and the belief that a better opportunity lies in taking a different job.
Please contact New Jersey Business Employment Lawyer Andrew S. Bosin at 201-446-9643 for all your employment contracts agreements legal negotiating needs.
Knowing that this job probably won’t be your last, why wouldn’t you take every step possible to make sure that if you quit and leave to take another job, that you are legally allowed to do so and your employer doesn’t sue you for competing against them or taking clients?
Unless you are contractually bound not to do so, it is perfectly legal to go and look for another job. And, when you have found what you believe is that dream job, do yourself a favor and hire an experienced employment lawyer to negotiate or draft the agreement on your behalf.
You may ask, “why should I spend any money on having a lawyer look at my employment agreement?” Here are the reasons:
Minimizing a Non-Compete or Restrictive Covenant:
More now than ever, employers are going to great lengths to protect their confidential proprietary information and competitive advantages in the marketplace. If your employer enjoys such an advantage, because of a great product or by its market share, you can bet the farm they will not be happy to learn that you have been speaking to a competitor while obligated under your agreement with them. Employers think nothing of throwing out the “breach of contract” or “breach of duty” language at you when and if they find out what you have been doing.
A good employment attorney will sit down with you and listen to what your job entails, your skill set and how competitive your industry is now and in the foreseeable future. If you are someone with an exceptional skill set and are well known in your industry, your new employer is not going to want you to go to a competitor if you are fired or quit. Rather, your employer is going to want to keep you out of the industry for at least a year, thus preventing you from speaking with competitors.
My advice to anyone taking such a job would be to put language in the employment agreement, that if the employer fired you that any non-compete would be null and void and you would be free with no restrictions to work for any other company, including a competitor.
In the event you quit and sought to work for a competitor I would negotiate language which would allow you to work for a competitor immediately with the caveat that you cannot solicit any of your former employer’s customers for at least one year.
Termination for Cause and Defining “Term of Employment”:
Just because you sign an employment agreement or contract doesn’t translate into employment for life or for any guaranteed period of time. Unless the agreement sets forth a defined period of time you will be working for the company, you are essentially at-will and can be fired at any time and for any reason.
In negotiating an employment agreement, one of the things I insist upon is language which sets forth that the client has a job for a defined period of time and that when that time is up unless either party gives notice that they don’t want to renew the agreement, the agreement would automatically review for the same amount of time.
Also, if an employer has the ability to fire you for any reason, it will be tough to defend any such firing and you will be out the door quickly. What can you do to protect yourself? I would insist that language be put into the agreement that my client can only be fired for cause which usually means things like committing a crime, using drugs and failing to do your duties.
Leaving Options or Deferred Comp on the Table:
You need to make sure that your decision to leave your employer voluntarily doesn’t surrender your right to receive deferred compensation or stock options. Likewise, if you quit, you need to know under the agreement whether you will receive the bonus you earned for working over a certain time period. Many times clients will come to me believing that even if they quit they will still be entitled to their options and in most instances their agreements say otherwise.
These are just a few tips for what should be included in any employment agreement.
Please contact Business Employment Lawyer Andrew S. Bosin at 201-446-9643.
Andrew is located in New Jersey outside of New York City and charges flat rate fixed legal fees for most projects and engagements.
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