Contract and Severance Negotiations

When are contract negotiations important for employees?

There are typically two times when contract negotiations become very important for employees.  When an employment relationship ends, employers frequently present employees with some type of a severance agreement that often provides an employee with some money and/or benefits in exchange for a promise not to sue the employer and other provisions.  The second type of contract often comes at the beginning of employment.  At BB+K we work closely with our clients to insure that their contracts with their employers, both pre employment and post employment agreements, fully protect their rights.  

     1.  Pre employment contracts

When employers provide employees with severance agreements they typically advise the employee to consult with an attorney.  This is not necessarily because they want to insure the employee's rights are protected.  Rather, the law, in a lot of situations, requires them to do so.  Pre employment contracts, however, are quite different.  

The most common type of pre employment contract is often referred to as a "non compete" agreement. These agreements provide that the employee agrees that they will not go to work for a competing business for some specified period of time after their employment comes to an end. Unfortunately, employees tend to sign off on these agreement without ever having a full understanding of their significance and without contemplating the harm that these agreements might bring to their career.

     2.  Post employment contracts

When employment ends unexpectedly it can be devastating.  Employers often hand their employee a severance agreement promising to give them some money and/or benefits in exchange for agreements by the employee not to sue and potentially other concessions. For employers, these agreements are often a cheap form of insurance that preclude an employee from ever challenging their termination or anything else that occurred while they were working.  Such agreements often prohibit an employee from even complaining to anyone about their termination. 

When should I contact a lawyer to discuss an employment agreement?

Any time that your employer presents you with a contract you should have it reviewed by an attorney.  These agreements have significant legal implications and if you have been asked to sign one you should consult with an attorney. Employees often do not know or understand their legal rights and, unfortunately, they often sign these agreements without asking an attorney to review it.  

How can BB+K help?

At BB+K we are here to help you understand your rights when your employer presents you with any type of a written agreement.  We understand that these situations often demand quick attention and we work with you to insure that your needs are met in a timely fashion. Contact us and our staff will arrange for an opportunity for one of our attorneys to review your agreement and discuss your rights and options with your promptly.