Employment law is designed to safeguard both employees and employers from any sort of exploitation or unfair treatment. In Texas, employment law extends to discrimination, harassment, wages, as well as contractual obligations in the workplace.
Texas follows the “at will” doctrine for employees, implying that a worker can be dismissed for any lawful reason at any time. There can be circumstances where an employer chooses to create a contract with modifications to the standard at-will relationship.
For help with Texas-based employment contract negotiations and drafting, reach out to the Galo Law Firm for a consultation with an experienced employment contracts lawyer. Whether you are an employer or employee, we can offer our assistance in negotiating employment agreements. Our services can be beneficial to both sides and ensure that the final agreement is fair for everyone involved.
Hire a lawyer who is licensed to practice law in the area where you will be conducting business, as some rules and regulations differ from state to state and between federal laws.
We’re here to assist you with any contract-related matters. From preparing contracts to ensuring they meet legal compliance, we’ve got you covered. Get all your contract requirements fulfilled hassle free, quickly, and effectively. Get in touch today by calling 210-361-8043 to discuss your situation.
We Help You With All Types of Contracts
The Galo Law Firm has been providing top-notch legal services in the area of employment contracts since 1994. With our expertise in federal and Texas state employment law, we have a unique advantage in ensuring that our clients’ rights are carefully protected. We have experience working with both employers and employees, giving us great insight into the needs of both sides.
Our team can assist with agreements for managers, executives, and any other employees. We have expertise in negotiating, drafting and formulating employment contracts, collective bargaining agreements, non-competition agreements, as well as severance deals.
Whether you are an employee or employer, it is highly advised to secure a formal employment agreement before starting any work. We urge our clients to make any relevant modifications or additions to the contract before the job starts. Don’t wait for the right moment; act quickly while you still can alter the contractual obligations.
What Should Be Included in an Employment Contract?
Every employment contract should include details like job requirements, compensation, benefits, working hours, code of conduct at the workplace, and other related legal stipulations. This ensures that both the employer and employee have a clear understanding of their obligations.
In Texas, an at-will employment state, the job agreement should explicitly state that the individual is an at-will employee, meaning their employer can terminate them for any legal reason. This will guide how they are let go, as well as the obligations they have to follow.
Purpose of the Contract
To ensure that an employment agreement is legally considered a contract, the employer should include a short section at the beginning of the agreement that outlines the purpose of the contract, such as offering employment to an individual for a specific position and duration. When drawing up an employment contract, it is important to consider the job duties required and the necessary skills to fulfill these duties when determining its length.
Acknowledgment of Offer
The employer should add a clause whereby the employee agrees to and acknowledges the offer of employment. This is important for both parties in order to maintain a mutual understanding.
To ensure clarity and avoid disputes, employers must be precise about the title of an employee and explain their main duties in detail. This will help eliminate any potential confusion or misunderstanding regarding the role of the employee.
The contract should include guidelines for how to handle potential extensions, as well as what happens when the contract expires, but the employee still works with the company.
Employers should clearly detail the advantages and benefits employees can expect during their tenure, as well as what they may be entitled to in the event that their work relationship is terminated.
Thus, to avoid any future disputes and ensure that both parties are on the same page, it is essential to include a clause stating that this agreement is binding and encompasses all aspects of the discussion. This way, everything is clearly established in writing.
How Should an Employee’s Compensation Be Organized?
It is critical to detail both the amount of payment and the timeline for when it will be received for employees.
An evaluation system should be established to regularly assess employee performance, as this helps determine their eligibility for salary increases and bonuses. Along with the criteria for attaining bonuses, it is important to make sure that both parties understand the schedule in which bonuses can be earned and when these will be paid out. As well, it should be outlined if an employee qualifies for a bonus even if they’re no longer working at the company when the payment is due. This way, everyone is kept in the loop about what to expect.
What Should You Examine in an Employment Contract?
Before agreeing to an employment contract, it is important to carefully assess the following items for any potential changes or amendments.
Clear Job Description
A proper job description is essential for effective employee management, as it helps to prevent miscommunication and ensures that the employees understand their responsibilities. This can help to avoid unnecessary stress and confusion from taking on tasks that are not part of their job duties.
When it comes to job descriptions, vague or ambiguous expectations can lead to problems down the road. You don’t want your employer to be able to accuse you of not doing your job correctly because there wasn’t a detailed document outlining what is expected of you. Make sure that you always clarify any uncertainties before taking on the role.
Before accepting a job offer, it is important to thoroughly read and understand the key terms of the agreement. A good employment contract should clearly outline expectations, responsibilities, roles and rights for both parties involved. It should also include details about salaries, benefits, vacation days and other workplace policies.
It is important to explore any additional clauses or provisions that may be included in the contract. Take note of benefits such as sick pay, vacation time, maternity leave, health insurance, permanent disability insurance and life assurance.
Thoroughly review the benefits included in your job offer to get the most out of your employment. By looking into these details before signing a contract, you can ensure that you are entering into an agreement that meets your needs and expectations.
Companies usually put in certain restrictive covenants to safeguard their operations and interests, such as non-compete, non-solicitation, confidentiality, and nondisclosure clauses.
Non compete agreements are of utmost significance as they limit an employee’s capacity to work or commence their own enterprise in the similar industry after their employment term has expired.
If there is a non-compete agreement included in the contract, ensure that you are aware of the financial compensation offered to you during the period where you are not able to work. If a company does not offer any financial support during your period of unemployment, it is not recommended to take up a role where you won’t be able to work in the same industry for an extended period after leaving. Non-compete clauses can be particularly detrimental to employees in smaller industries.
A majority of employment contracts give the company exclusive ownership rights for any innovative ideas, creations, or inventions made by their employees; therefore, the intellectual property does not belong to the employee, but to the company.
By signing an employment agreement, you may be giving up some of your rights to any innovative ideas you have during your time of employment. This could feel like a limitation if you have a groundbreaking concept. It is something to consider when determining if the agreement is right for you.
Compensation is an essential part of any employment agreement. It encompasses more than just the typical pay, wages, or hourly rate, and overtime pay; it includes a complex incentive structure or a revenue-sharing program that is linked to performance and commission protocols.
Make sure you know precisely how any extra compensation works, such as bonuses and equity awards. You should understand the performance metrics necessary for receiving additional payment.
An employment contract’s severance clause is a great tool for both the employer and employee to get the preferred severance package in the case the working relationship ends.
Not only should the severance agreement specify the amount of payment to be received, it should mention whether you will receive the payments in one lump sum or in installments.
It’s essential to make sure that the instructions related to activating severance are accurately specified and precise. To ensure that all parties understand their obligations, a well-defined payment schedule should be included in the agreement if any installments are required. This will signify when each payment is due and avoid any confusion.
It’s important for both parties to discuss what can be disclosed about an employee upon ending the agreement. Make sure that any language used won’t allow the employer to share information of any kind with future employers. Doing so could potentially harm the employee’s reputation in their industry.
There is no hard and fast rule when it comes to altering a proposed employment contract. Factors such as the job role, employer-employee relationship, and progress of the hiring process can play a major role in how suggestions for modification are received. Our team of qualified attorneys are available to consult with you and provide assistance in this matter.
Before signing anything, it is better to ensure that all your questions are addressed first. This may be uncomfortable, but it is an essential part of the process. If you sign without having these conversations with your prospective employer, it can be quite challenging to make any changes afterward.
What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Employment Contracts?
Employment contracts can hold both advantages and disadvantages for employees. We’ll look at the most significant of these below.
An employment contract offers clarity and understanding for both employers and employees. As an employee, it gives you the opportunity to read and understand the expectations the employer has of you, the compensation you will receive, and any limitations that may be imposed on you.
Contracts are beneficial for employees, as they offer certain legal rights. If the employer fails to abide by the agreement, employees may be eligible for payment or entitled to some form of compensation, thus ensuring they receive full contract value.
Employment contracts help to protect the rights of both employers and employees, however they reduce the employee’s flexibility. Subsequently, if they wish to adjust their contract after signing and beginning their job, their employer will have to grant permission in order to amend it – which is often difficult.
Besides the normal conditions, unexpected issues may arise from the fine print of an employment contract. A key example being non-compete clauses which can be very restrictive on employees, particularly when they are in industries with fewer job opportunities.
When you sign an employment agreement, it could come with different restrictive conditions related to compensation, such as commissions, vested company shares, and other employee benefits. Therefore, it is essential for any employee to have a clear understanding of what these terms are before signing.
Why Have a Lawyer Review Your Employment Contract?
It is highly recommended that you have a legal professional do an employment contract review before you sign. This will not only help make sure you know precisely what rights and obligations are being laid out in the agreement, but may also allow them to provide advice on asking for amendments or help in negotiating with the employer.
An experienced attorney can help you analyze and negotiate your employment contract to ensure that it meets your needs and protects your rights. With the help of an attorney, you can make sure that any potential risks are mitigated and that you are entering into a fair agreement with your employer.
The employment relationship is still in its early stages, so it’s understandable if workers don’t want to be too assertive and introduce a lawyer right away. It could come off as too confrontational or might damage the rapport they’ve been able to build. However, a specialist employment contract lawyer can help protect you from any possible errors or threats that may be lurking in your contract. Having a professional look it over is a wise move and can save you time and hassle in the long run.
Employment Contract Dispute
Open communication is the best way to handle any issues related to an employment contract. However, it is important to be aware that some contract disputes can quickly become a legal matter requiring serious attention.
In a situation where you need to follow through with negotiations, it is always recommended to involve an attorney in the process. They can act as your representative and use their skills to get you the most favorable outcome. If there is a feeling that the employer has failed to fulfill their end of the employment contract, a lawyer can assist in obtaining rightful compensation.
Before signing an employment contract, it is wise to review the document and check if any dispute resolution procedures or clauses are stated. Taking this proactive step will not only help you avoid potential disputes in the future, but also be better prepared for them should they arise.
Many employers include binding arbitration clauses in employment contracts. If you have already consented to this agreement, then your only option for dispute resolution is through an arbitration process rather than the conventional court system.
Consult With an Employment Contract Attorney at the Galo Law Firm
Having a properly drafted employment contract is essential for any employer. A qualified employment attorney can help ensure that the agreement meets all legal requirements and protects both parties in the event of a dispute.
An employment contract lawyer can provide insight on how to best structure the agreement to address topics such as employee benefits, compensation, termination, and other issues specific to your business or employment. By engaging an experienced employment contract attorney, employers and employees will benefit from greater legal protection and peace of mind, knowing they have safeguarded their interests.
Our team of experienced lawyers has been providing legal assistance with employment and business law for nearly 30 years. We are devoted to advocating for employment rights and can connect you with our network of highly skilled attorneys who can help you manage your employment contract or any employment dispute.