Employee Contracts and Policies

 

Employment Contracts and their Importance

In a lawsuit, a party’s strongest weapon — or weakest link — is often the contract between the parties. Depending on the nature of one’s business, best practices dictate a suite of contracts:

  • Non-competition and non-solicitation contracts.
  • Confidentiality and non-disclosure contracts.
  • Arbitration agreements.
  • Intellectual property and work-for-hire contracts.
  • Non-disparagement agreements.

A contract is only as good as it is written. Non-competes, non-solicitation, non-disclosure confidentiality, non-disparagement, and trade secret provisions rise and fall on how artfully a business (or your attorney) drafts them. Contracts must not only be comprehensive but also enforceable – a wrong word or phrase can sometimes doom a contract.

We will, and frequently do, take the proverbial knife into a gun fight; skillfully wielding a weak contract can yield results. But all things being equal, you want to be equipped with the strongest contract possible to hedge your bets.

We will help you draft or revise important contracts to ensure you have the edge in worst case scenarios, including litigation.

Evaluating Contracts

Companies often do not realize how weak or unfairly slanted a contract is until a dispute breaks out. This often results in a shock. And it is too late at that point to fix the ship. We review and fix existing contracts before businesses enter the storm. In addition, we assess a contract’s enforceability and legality. We can also identify gaps in protection and recommend improvements.

Employee Handbook and Policies

We assist employers with employee handbooks—either from scratch or to improve inadequate or outdated policies.

Employee handbooks serve as a comprehensive guide to the policies, procedures, values, and expectations within a business. They should communicate important information to employees and establish a clear framework for the employer-employee relationship. Some of the key purposes of employee handbooks include:

  1. Communication of Policies:
    • Employee handbooks outline the company’s policies and procedures, covering a wide range of topics such as code of conduct, attendance, dress code, workplace behavior, and more. This helps ensure that employees are aware of the rules and expectations governing their conduct in the workplace.
  2. Company Culture and Values:
    • Employee handbooks often include information about the company’s mission, vision, and values. This helps reinforce the organization’s culture and can contribute to a sense of shared purpose among employees.
  3. Legal Protection:
    • Employee handbooks can provide legal protection for employers by clearly outlining their policies and procedures. If a dispute arises, having documented policies can demonstrate that the employer communicated expectations to employees and took steps to maintain a compliant and respectful work environment.
  4. Consistency:
    • Handbooks help maintain consistency in the application of policies across the organization. When everyone is aware of the same rules and guidelines, it promotes fairness and reduces the likelihood of misunderstandings or favoritism.
  5. Orientation and Onboarding:
    • Employee handbooks are often provided during the onboarding process to help new hires become familiar with the company’s culture, values, and expectations. This serves as a valuable resource for employees as they navigate their roles within the organization.
  6. Reference Guide:
    • The handbook serves as a reference guide that employees can consult when they have questions about company policies, benefits, leave policies, and other important information. This can help prevent the need for frequent inquiries to HR or management.
  7. Benefits Information:
    • Many handbooks include details about employee benefits, such as health insurance, retirement plans, vacation policies, and other perks. This information is valuable for employees seeking to understand and make use of the benefits offered by the company.
  8. Conflict Resolution:
    • In the event of a dispute or conflict, the handbook can serve as a reference point for resolving issues. It provides a framework for addressing concerns and may outline the steps employees should take if they have a problem or complaint.
  9. Compliance with Employment Laws:
    • Employee handbooks help businesses comply with various employment laws and regulations by ensuring that policies align with legal requirements. This can include information about anti-discrimination policies, safety regulations, and other legal obligations.

In sum, employee handbooks play a crucial role in providing information, setting expectations, ensuring consistency, and promoting a positive and compliant work environment.

 

Cronkhite Counsel is here to serve. Feel free to contact us to discuss how we can help.

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Allied in purpose.

Unparalleled in commitment.™