Employment law is complicated. Failing to understand it can cost a business significantly in terms of legal damages, money, attorney’s fees, and reputational harm. Stanfield Bechtel Law assists employers by providing comprehensive legal counsel concerning various matters. Our attorneys work with you, your human resources department, or other internal professionals to draft legal documents that meet the demands of employment law. If you have questions about how best to mitigate your risk and reduce the likelihood of an employment lawsuit, ask about our drafting services.
Employment Laws That May Affect Your Business
The relationship between employer and employee is governed by various state and federal laws. These rules are intricate and employers have the duty of following them or risk liability exposure in the form of lawsuits, damages, court and lawyer fees, and diminished reputation. These are a few employment law issues that may be relevant to your organization:
- Race discrimination
- Gender discrimination
- Age discrimination
- Sexual Orientation discrimination
- Religious discrimination
- Pregnancy discrimination
- Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) violations
- Sexual harassment and assault in the workplace
- Hostile work environment
- Wrongful termination
- Wage and hour claims
- Whistleblower claims
Drafting Services We Offer Employers
Stanfield Bechtel Law knows that taking a proactive approach can help decrease the chances that your business will be sued concerning the above and related employment law matters. To help your business comply with these laws and protect its best interests, we can draft a wide array of documents, including:
Employment policies and procedures. Adopting internal policies and procedures is a critical first step in ensuring that both management and employees understand their respective rights and obligations. These policies and procedures can address such matters as:
- Sexual harassment
- Employment Termination
- Performance reviews
- Disciplinary guidelines and procedures
- Wage, hour, salary, and benefits
- Vacation and sick leave
- FMLA policies
- Drug and alcohol policies
These and other rules and procedures are often compiled in the form of a handbook that all employees must read and sign.
Employment contracts. Typically, the employer-employee relationship is considered “at will.” This means any party can end the employment relationship at any time, provided that it is for a non-discriminatory or other illegal reason. Sometimes it makes sense to have an employment contract with an employee. Having well-written and enforceable contracts can protect your business in the event that an employee violates a company policy or fails to abide by performance requirements. If your business is considering entering into an employment contract with a potential employee, Stanfield Bechtel Law can assist you in drafting this contract to help protect your business.
Independent contractor agreements. Companies that routinely use independent contractors must ensure that the relationship between them does not amount to employment. That’s because actual employees have rights that impose certain legal obligations upon the employer. Unfortunately, not all relationships are appropriately classified as an independent contractor relationship. Misclassifying an employee as an independent contractor can have serious legal consequences and be costly for an employer. We can help you determine if an independent contractor relationship is appropriate and assist you in drafting independent contractor agreements to cover all independent contractors your company uses.
Job Descriptions. In order to comply with many employment laws, or justify the reason for termination, it is critical that your company have up-to-date job descriptions for each job in your company. Job descriptions tell the employee important information such as their job duties, expectations, and essential functions of the job. Providing an employee with a job description will assist in setting clear expectations for employees and justifying reasons for discipline and termination.
Disciplinary documents. These encompass everything from internal employee complaints to performance reviews and termination. Employee discipline is one area that triggers a substantial number of employment discrimination claims. Having defined standards and methods for handling insubordinate employees is critical to avoiding these allegations.
Restrictive covenants. The purpose of restrictive covenants, in the employment law context, is to limit an employee’s activities after he or she leaves employment with your company. Some examples of restrictive covenants include:
- Noncompete agreements. These contracts prohibit the departing employee from competing with his or her former employer. They limit starting a competing business or working for a competitor for some period of time after leaving employment. However, courts will only enforce these agreements if they are reasonable and carefully drafted.
- Non-solicitation agreements. A non-solicitation agreement is designed to prevent a former employee from soliciting clients, customers, or employees of his or her former employer for a specified period of time. As with noncompetes, these agreements must be reasonable in nature.
- Nondisclosure agreements. Since employees routinely handle sensitive client and customer data, a nondisclosure may be necessary to prevent them from disclosing such information to third parties. Nondisclosures can also protect a company’s trade secrets from being released to outsiders.
Intellectual property agreements. In many industries, employees create various forms of intellectual property for their employers to use, license, and sell. Independent contractors also create intellectual property but may retain rights to it because they aren’t employees. An intellectual property agreement can specify who owns inventions, works of authorship, digital media, and more.
Meeting the Employment Law Needs of Your Connecticut Business
One of our goals at Stanfield Bechtel Law is to devise customized, non-litigation solutions to common legal issues that arise in the course of doing business. Our employment drafting service is an example of how we do so. We counsel companies on the most advantageous ways to use these documents so they can rest assured that litigation and liability risks are kept to a minimum. To learn more about how we can help your business draft and execute the above and other employment law documents, call us today.