Employment and Executive Agreements

When businesses hire a new employee or executive, they agree upon a set of employment conditions. These can be established informally between the employer and the employee; but in most cases, it is beneficial to sign an employment agreement.

Employment agreements contain specific obligations that both the employer and employee must fulfill.

Implied Agreements v. Contracts

It is common for employees to have an implied agreement with their employer. If a company calls a candidate with a job offer and tells them the role, salary, and start date, and the candidate accepts, this constitutes an enforceable agreement. Employees may be asked to sign an offer letter confirming these details, and both the employer and the employee are bound to policies laid out in an employee handbook.

Most workers are employed at-will, meaning that they can quit or be terminated at any time for any reason that is not prohibited by law, such as discrimination or retaliation.

For employees who are not employed at-will, however, having a signed employment agreement can limit the employer’s ability to terminate them, as well as their ability to leave when they choose. It may also guarantee employment for a specific period of time, such as two years. This type of guarantee can be attractive to highly sought-after candidates.

If the employee does choose to leave, the employment contract may specify how much advance notice they must give their employer. Contracts are often used for executive roles, to outline the type of compensation packages they will receive.

Terms of Employment

There are many terms and conditions that may be included in an employment agreement, including:

  • Job title and responsibilities of the employee
  • Working hours and job location(s)
  • Salary, bonuses, and commission
  • Benefits, such as medical coverage and paid time off
  • Grounds for termination
  • Ownership of inventions or intellectual property
  • Non-compete or non-solicitation clauses
  • Confidentiality agreements
  • Stock options, where applicable
  • Severance agreements

It is important to read an employment agreement thoroughly before signing it. There may be responsibilities listed that are outside the scope of the position, or hidden obligations that can make receiving benefits difficult. Items such as non-compete or non-solicit provisions must be reviewed to ensure they are not unreasonably impeding the employee’s ability to earn a living when they have moved on from the company.

Once the employee or executive agreement is signed, both the employer and the employee are bound by the terms of the contract. The employee must fulfill their job duties, and the employer must compensate them as agreed, including any non-salary benefits listed in the contract.

The employer cannot decide to terminate the employee before the contract ends, even if the company no longer needs them. To do so would put them in breach of contract, and the employee could take legal action against them.

It is possible to renegotiate a contract after it has been signed, but the employee would have to consent to any changes being made.

Contract Disputes

When a dispute arises concerning an employment agreement, the method of resolution may be laid out in the agreement itself. Some employment contracts specify remedies available to employees or employers, such as arbitration or mediation.

Some employment contracts may also specify which state laws will govern any dispute. It is important to have an experienced Monmouth County employment lawyer by your side to help you review your legal options and determine a winning strategy in the event of a dispute.

Monmouth County Employment Lawyers at Fox & Melofchik, Protect the Rights of Employees and Candidates for Employment

The Monmouth County employment lawyers at Fox & Melofchik, L.L.C. have the knowledge and experience to handle all types of employment law issues. We are committed to protecting your best interests, both in the negotiation of your contract and in any dispute that may arise. Call us today at 732-493-9400 or contact us online for a free consultation.

We have offices in Eatontown, New Jersey, allowing us to represent clients across the state, including those in Monmouth County, Ocean County, Middlesex County, Mercer County, Asbury Park, Neptune, Long Branch, Keansburg, Ocean Township, Eatontown, Red Bank, Middletown, Colts Neck, Deal, Freehold, Holmdel, Jackson, Little Silver, Marlboro, and Rumson, New Jersey.

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