Well-drafted employment contracts can offer executives many protections. For example, a contract containing the proper provisions can protect executives from unfair terminations. However, we urge you to remember that these provisions work both ways. This means that you cannot simply leave your position without risking the financial benefits you have worked so hard to secure.
When negotiating an employment contract, it's important to look toward the future. While you hope you remain a part of the company for many years to come, you never know what could go wrong.
There usually comes a time in the career of successful first-time executives when they realize they give more than they receive. When executives take on their first term as a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) or another C-level position, their employment contracts probably reflect their relative inexperience. Now that they have achieved success and helped the company thrive, they may wish to renegotiate the terms of their employment.
In the era of high technology employment, intellectual property (IP) fills a massive role. Just about every large corporation, including those in the Detroit area, utilizes intellectual property in some form. Much of this property rightfully belongs to the employer. For example, trademarks, logos and client lists are clearly the employer's property.
Many employment attorneys talk about what executive contracts should and should not contain. We have written about and discussed contract clauses several times in our legal blog. These topics are important to executives concerned about protecting themselves, but sometimes, these discussions are a bit too general.
If you are on the hunt for an executive-level position, you might be tempted to take the first offer that comes your way -- especially if you really want to work for a particular company. No matter how excited you are about your prospects, however, it is usually wiser to wait a little before signing a contract. This gives you some time to review its terms and decide whether you should accept the contract as written or negotiate for better terms.
Being hired as an executive at a company can come with a lot of perks including a nice base salary with opportunities for you to earn bonuses. While all of these may leave you wanting to ask where you need to sign your contract so that you can get started, you may benefit from having an attorney review it and even negotiate a little on your behalf.
When a professional- or executive-level employee is going to get laid off at work, the employee will often receive a severance package from his or her employer. Perhaps, for example, the employee will receive a year's worth of pay and a year of insurance benefits in exchange for the untimely loss of his or her job. Such severance packages can involve a lot of money, and they can be very helpful for an employee's financial security, so it's wise to take care when negotiating such an agreement with an employer.
An "employment contract and compensation agreement" establishes the terms of an employment relationship between the worker and employer. Although such a contract is not required for all employees of a particular business, an employment contract and compensation agreement is often used when establishing the terms associated with hiring someone into an executive-level position.
It's common for employment agreements to contain a noncompetition clause. Many employers expose trade secrets and client lists to employees and they don't want their employees using this confidential information to compete against them unfairly. As long as noncompete clauses are reasonable, courts will often require employees to adhere to them. However, clear limitations apply to these agreements and an employee subjected to an unreasonable noncompetition clause may not have to follow it.