Employment agreements are contracts that establish a relationship between an employer and an employee. There are many different forms of employment agreements and they can cover a wide range of topics and concerns. If done incorrectly however, these employment agreements can become meaningless or even open the door to future liabilities. With the help of a qualified attorney, you can ensure that your employment agreements are legally sound and efficient.
In Texas, typically employment is at will with no written contracts. However, certain positions require employees with very specialized training or talent. In these situations, companies and individuals will want to memorialize the relationship with more definite terms governing the relationship. Employment contracts are very common in these situations. Traditionally, the term used to describe these contracts was "executive compensation agreement," but these agreements are used for a variety of positions. If you are one of these people and offered an employment contract do NOT just sign it. Review it with an employment lawyer to make sure that it does not create potential issues for you later and to make sure that you are getting everything you require.
Negotiating an Employment Contract
The process of negotiation can be a delicate one. The first concern is to carefully analyze our client's needs. It is not just a matter of compensation; often there are other considerations related to restrictive covenants, stock vesting and management control.
Once we have established what our client needs, the next step is to gather as much information as possible as to the needs of the other side. You are trying to build a long-term beneficial relationship – not resolve a litigated dispute. Knowing what the other party is looking for in an agreement gives us the best ability to negotiate for our client's needs while taking as little away from the other side as possible. In the end, this makes it both easier for the other side to agree and goes much further in preserving the relationship for everyone.
Having negotiated an agreement, our job is not over. Someone has to draft the agreement (or if we have been working with an agreement, edit it.) Whether we represent an executive or a company, attorneys at Hopkins Centrich Winkelman & Drucker, PLLCunderstand the needs of each and how to balance them. Our goal is to get the best possible outcome for our clients as quickly as possible. Knowing the needs of both sides also enables us to better negotiate for our client. Having an experienced employment contract lawyer carefully negotiate an executive compensation package or other employment contract have helped protect our clients’ interests.
Lee Winkelman has experience dealing with a wide range of employment contracts and can provide counsel on drafting, modifying and enforcing those contracts. If you are in the Woodlands, Conroe or the Houston area and have a contract issue, contact Hopkins Centrich to speak personally with a employment law attorney.