When accepting a new position, employers and newly hired associates will sometimes enter into an employment agreement. This written contract can include stipulations on everything from non-disclosure clauses to wage rates and the employee’s duties within the company.
Other times, these types of agreements are understood between all parties of the company, or terms are laid out in documents such as an Employee Handbook. These unwritten clauses can be much harder to define, but an employer still has a duty to uphold this contract.
In any situation in which an employer and worker enter into an agreement of employment, it is important that both sides fully understand their obligations under the contract and that due consideration has been offered. These contracts are signed in order to keep everyone on the same page about employment arrangements, but disputes sometimes arise over the enforceability, reasonableness, and fair compensation of the employee in exchange for the waiver of certain rights.
Non-compete agreement or clause
Executive compensation package
Vendor or sub-vendor contract
Severance contract or package
Even if an employee signs a contract of this nature, it could later be challenged in court if it is deemed unreasonable or unenforceable. Certain terms require consideration to the employee, such as a non-compete clause. If the worker is to give up the right to work in the industry in the future, the employer must offer due consideration for this risk, such as a higher pay rate. Additionally, these clauses must be narrowly tailored in order to be enforceable. If their restrictions are not followed, a court may find the non-compete agreement void.
In the event that a party violates the contract, such as an assured length of employment, the other party may have cause to seek compensation. For instance, if a new salesman is promised a 10% commission on all sales in a contract signed on accepting employment and is then denied this commission, he could have grounds to seek the owed commissions in court.
Since contracts can quickly become complex and lengthy, those who feel that their employment contract has been breached would benefit from the advice of an employment law attorney. With decades of experience, the Houston Employment Law Lawyers of the Powers Law Firm can help analyze any employment contract, determine if it has been violated, and outline what steps to take in seeking compensation.