Employment Agreements in New York
An employment agreement or employment contract is a binding legal document that outlines the terms and conditions of employment between an employer and employee. It can override the at-will employment factor in New York State, where employers can lawfully terminate a job without warning or an employee can quit without notice. The work agreement may specify the terms for employment and reasons that would justify job termination and also clarify the length of employment along with the rights and responsibilities of the job position.
Non-compete Clauses or Agreements
An employment contract may include a non-compete clause or the employer may require that you also sign a non-compete agreement as a condition for hiring. This clause or agreement would prevent you from working for one of the employer’s competitors during your time of employment or for a specified time after leaving the job. It is wise to consult with an employment law attorney before signing a non-compete agreement. Courts often do not uphold non-compete agreements. However, this is not always the case, and your lawyer may advise that you request a severance agreement if hiring requires that you sign a non-compete agreement.
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Separation or Severance Agreement
A severance agreement, also sometimes called a separation agreement, is a binding contract that specifies the terms of job termination. It lays out the employer and employee’s rights and obligations after the position is terminated, whether as a result downsizing or layoffs. From the employee’s perspective, the agreement would provide money or benefits that normally are not part of the employment contract. From the employer’s perspective, the contract would protect the company against legal liability or economic loss.
What types of provisions are often incorporated into severance agreements? Non-compete clauses are one possibility. Non-disclosure clauses are other provisions, which prohibit the employee from discussing confidential aspects of the business, proprietary information or the reason for job termination. A non-disparagement clause is another type of provision often included. This clause bars the employee from communicating anything that would disparage or lessen the company’s reputation.
Testimonial by a Client Represented in a Severance Agreement
5.0 stars Avvo Review—Separation Settlement
Posted by Michael, Amityville, New York
Consult with an Experienced Employment Law Attorney
An experienced and knowledgeable lawyer can help you negotiate the terms of your severance agreement to ensure you will receive the most benefit. It is also wise to have a lawyer review an employment contract so you fully understand the terms before signing. If you have already signed a severance agreement and are over the age of 40, you have seven days to change your decision. A lawyer can review the agreement and provide you with legal advice.
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