Employment Agreement

Danziger Shapiro & Leavitt regularly works with professionals and high level executives to help them understand the real world implications behind the agreement their employer has placed before them to sign. While salary is important, we believe the other areas of the employment agreement are where the hidden problems arise. Issues we focus on are:

Inventions, copyrights and other intellectual property rights

Imagine you just invented the next big thing in your garage. You worked late at night and did not use any employer time or resources. Did you know that your employer may still claim that it owns your invention? In most cases, unless stated otherwise in your employment agreement, all intellectual property is the property of your employer under the work for hire doctrine. This result can be avoided if you know how to do it.

Non-competition Clauses

Employees need to be careful and not enter into agreements that prevent them from working in the future if the new job does not work out. Non-competition clauses vary in length of time and can not only restrict a geographic area but also prevent you from working with specific future employers. Courts routinely strike down employment contracts that contain non-competition clauses where the term are not reasonable in scope or geographic breadth. Having litigated these types of cases helps us understand what to look for in terms of what is enforceable and what is overreaching on the part of the employer.

Term of Employment Agreement

Are you being hired for a specific term with a start date and an end date yet the employer can fire you at any time for any reason? If this is the case, you are an at-will employee even though you have an employment agreement. We have had many professionals come to us with what they thought were two year employment agreements. Unfortunately, this was not the case but we were able to help them attack these agreements for other reasons.

Sale or Change in Control Clauses

What happens when your employer sell the business? Does your employment contract terminate or is it an obligation of the buyer? Perhaps this should trigger a bonus to entice you to stay on board with a new executive team? These are important questions that you need to understand. If the employer sells shortly after you come on board, well you get the idea.

Performance Based Bonuses

Are performance based bonuses in your employment agreement guaranteed or discretionary? Who decides and how objective are the goals? The better the details are set forth in writing the better both parties will understand exactly what the employer has agreed to pay you.

Moonlighting

Can you work for another employer or do you have to devote your full time and attention to this one job? Can you have a part time job?

Term of Employment

Are you being hired for a specific employment term with a start date and an end date yet the employer can fire you at any time for any reason? If this is the case, you are still an at-will employee even though you have an employment agreement. We have had many professionals come to us with what they thought were two year employment agreements. Unfortunately, this was not the case but we were able to help them attack these agreements for other reasons.

Whether you want a non-biased overview or have us negotiate on your behalf, we are here to help.