Advice and Counsel
We help employers meet workplace challenges by providing practical legal advice on employment law issues to enable them to:
- Prevent employee problems from arising
- Anticipate, evaluate and manage risk
- Comply with ever-changing employment laws and regulations
- Craft employment, non-compete, and independent contractor agreements
- Evaluate, draft and implement employment policies
- Adapt to new technologies and work arrangements
- Resolve employee disputes expeditiously and economically
Complex Workplace Investigations
Employers frequently rely on their own human resources employees to conduct investigations within the company. Often, that is adequate to obtain the information needed to resolve the situation.
Sometimes, however, it is advisable for an employer, its board of directors, or its outside counsel to retain an independent investigator to assist. In that capacity, the lawyer does not serve as a lawyer but as someone who assists outside or inside counsel to find facts necessary to provide advice and take appropriate action. Such situations may include:
- Allegations of sexual harassment against an executive to whom the human resources department reports
- Allegations that employees within the human resources department have engaged in misconduct
- Allegations by executives or other employees against subordinates
- Situations involving allegations in which there are delicate issues or the possibility of public relations consequences
- Situations in which the employer needs a testifying expert who will be both credible and strong on the witness stand.
Evaluation and Negotiation of Executive Employment Contracts and Separation Agreements
Employers hiring C-level and vice-president-level executives usually present them with employment agreements. Sometimes written in indecipherable legalese, those agreements frequently include restrictive covenants — non-compete, non-disclosure, non-solicitation, and non-piracy agreements. They often contain complex provisions concerning compensation.
Likewise, executives who leave their employers may receive separation or severance agreements to sign. If they are 40 years old or older, those agreements will urge consultation with legal counsel.
But the agreements, suffused with legalese, are often challenging to understand and difficult to evaluate. Questions arise:
- Why did the employer include certain provisions?
- Under what circumstances are those provisions likely to apply, and how?
- What provisions should be in such an agreements? What provisions should be left out?
- What should those provisions say?
- How is a board of directors or supervisor likely to react to proposed changes to a “standard” employment or separation agreement?
- And what is the result likely to be?
If you are an executive who is evaluating an employment, separation, or severance agreement, we can help. We can explain the likely purpose and function of certain provisions, compare those provisions with your own desire and expectations, help you evaluate what leverage you might have, and strategize about how to negotiate. We have more than 20 years of experience representing employers concerning those agreements and negotiating them. We will apply our ‘lessons learned’ to evaluate these agreements and craft additional or alternative language that best represents your interests.