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Employment Contract Lawyer

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Employment Agreements, Non-Competes, Separation Agreements,  Performance Improvement Plans And Other Employment Documents

Any document that your employer provides to you, negotiates with you, asks you to sign or holds you responsible for has been drafted by the company attorneys and/or Human Resources Department. 

Level the playing field with your own legal advocate, Banik & Renner.

Documents that should be reviewed by YOUR attorney include:

  • Letters of Intent
  • Offer letters
  • Employment contracts
  • Non-compete Agreements
  • Compensation and Incentive Plans
  • Bonus plans
  • Commission plans
  • Relocation Agreements
  • Write-ups that you feel are not justified
  • Performance Improvement Plans
  • Separation/Severance Agreements
  • Overseas Assignments
A letter of intent or an offer of employment letter is the perfect time to make certain that you understand exactly what is being offered to you and what is going to be expected of you.  Future disagreements and disappointments on both sides can be avoided with a clear understanding of expectations.  There is no better time to negotiate the terms of compensation or non-competition agreements than before accepting a position.

Compensation, incentive, bonus and commission plans, relocation packages, retention bonuses, sign-on bonuses, educational assistance and reimbursement plans are often not spelled out clearly in agreements between employers and employees.

For example, the phrase “employee will be paid a base salary plus 5% commission on sales” appears straightforward, however:
  • What happens if more than one sales person is involved in the sale?
  • What if the sale is to an existing customer of the business?
  • Does only new business count toward commissions and bonuses?
  • Is commission paid at the time of sale? Delivery? Only when paid in full?
  • What if you leave the company when product has been delivered but not yet paid, is that an “earned” commission that will be paid?
  • Is the commission later deducted if the customer returns a defective product?
At Banik & Renner we review employment documents to assure that the intent regarding the employment relationship is clearly stated in those agreements.

Non-compete agreements are often hidden in the body of employment documents and employees, grateful for the job offer, pay them little heed. However, when the employment relationship ends they govern your financial future!  These agreements are not always absolute. In many instances, they can be negotiated at hire or when leaving a position.

A non-compete agreement provides for a period of time following your departure from a company during which you are precluded from employment in a similar business and within a specific geographic region. Non-compete agreements also typically contain a non-solicitation agreement precluding you from luring away existing employees.

We work with employees to negotiate better terms to non-compete agreements.  Often an employer is concerned about only specific accounts and is not concerned with your association with others.  Likewise, if the agreement precludes you from employment with a customer, it may not be a conflict if your subsequent employment at that customer’s business does not hinder the business relationship between the two.  Many reasons for leaving an employer may give rise to opportunities to re-negotiate the terms of non-compete agreements.

Are you leaving a position because:

  • Your employer is not honoring the terms of its obligations to you?
  • You are aware of potential environmental violations or safety violations?
  • You are aware of issues that you feel may place you in a compromising position legally or within your occupation or license to work?
  • You are aware of questionable financial dealings of the employer?
  • You have been asked to participate in something that you feel is illegal or morally repugnant?
At Banik & Renner, we advocate for employees leaving their employment with restrictions on their future employment because of non-compete agreements as well as the problems that arise with reimbursement agreements for education, moving and retention bonuses. If you are leaving a position for any of the reasons above or similar reasons, speak with the employment law attorneys at Banik & Renner to explore how you may be able to renegotiate otherwise expensive and restrictive clauses in the employment documents you signed.

Disciplinary documents do not have to be the final word.  When you receive a Warning, Write-Up, Performance Improvement Plan or Annual Review that you feel is unfair, inaccurate, retaliatory or otherwise unjustified, you are entitled to push back.  Done respectfully, doing so can correct the misperception of your performance, prove that there is actually someone else behind the issue, or perhaps buy you time to transfer elsewhere within the company, find another job or even negotiate out of the position with a severance plan.  Banik & Renner provides objective guidance regarding such documents, the facts involved and your potential options.  It is never too early to seek guidance in these situations. Learning how to document, how to report, and how to manage a difficult work environment can make the difference between you controlling your departure from a job, or being fired with no severance.  While separating employment with a severance package, a good recommendation and the option for unemployment is never guaranteed.

All of the issues associated with the employment documents you must sign can be difficult and uncomfortable to discuss with your employer. You may not understand the strength of your position and it seems like the employer has all the cards. That is true unless you have an advocate on your side, asking the right questions or helping you understand what questions to ask.  Whether guiding you from behind the scenes, or dealing directly with your employer, at Banik & Renner we represent employees. We level the playing field between you and your employer.

Understand the benefits and protections you are entitled to under the law.  KNOWLEDGE IS POWER.

Why choose Banik & Renner?

  • Individualized service with no assembly line representation
  • The lawyer you meet with is the lawyer who represents you 
  • We are local attorneys who have practiced in the community since graduation from Notre Dame Law School three decades ago
  • We attend seminars and remain current in our areas of practice
  • We ask questions and we really listen to your answers to help you
  • We will not “hard sell” you on our representation
  • We explain your options in words you can understand or keep trying until you do         

What do I need to do before meeting with an Attorney?

  • Write down a list of all the events that have occurred related to the discrimination you have experienced at work including the date, who was involved and what happened
  • If you have received warnings, write-ups, a Performance Improvement Planor received any written communication from your employer bring those documents with you

How do I contact Banik & Renner?

Click here to contact us or call  574.293.7170 for more information or to schedule a consultation.

Employment Contracts Frequently Asked Questions

Is it really necessary to have an attorney review documents that my employer asks me to sign?
That is certainly a personal decision everyone must make when considering any type of employment related documentation. Feeling as if your employer might be offended if you speak with a lawyer is understandable, however, work controls your financial stability, the standard of living for you and your family, and even your retirement. Understanding the law and your rights empowers you to take appropriate action.  If you don’t know what you are entitled to under the law, you have no bargaining power in any situation.

Is an employer really going to negotiate the terms of my employment?
In many instances yes. They need you. You need them.  Employers want good employees just as much as employees want good jobs.  Banik & Renner can help you negotiate for yourself or we can represent you in those negotiations.

Is a non-compete always enforceable?
Not always.  It must not be unreasonably restrictive in terms of the duration of the restriction, the geographic region and the types of restrictions imposed. Like all employment related documents, non-compete agreements can often be re-negotiated both pre and post-employment.

I have been employed for several years and now my employer wants me to sign a non-compete.
Can I refuse? Generally, no.  However, you should review the agreement with Banik & Renner to assure that the restrictions are reasonable, and that you understand what you are limiting yourself to regarding future employment.

If you are denied employment, fired or demoted, harassed, retaliated against or otherwise suffer from work related discrimination, click here to contact the employment discrimination lawyers at Banik & Renner to assist with the EEOC process.


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