As an experienced Atlanta Business Attorney, I frequently advise clients on Georgia employment contracts both for the employer and for employees. In giving advice to those on “both” sides of the desk, I have become familiar with the concerns Atlanta contract lawyers, Atlanta business employers and owners and Atlanta employees have in regards to Georgia employment agreements.
I cannot underscore or emphasize enough the importance of having all your Georgia business contracts drafted, reviewed, and advised upon by an experienced Atlanta Business Lawyer. It is commonplace to see that the necessity of this only hits home when business needs change and business owners-employers and employees alike have to take into consideration, workout or litigate what was not contemplated, or memorialized in writing, when the employer-employee relationship began.
In my practice as Atlanta Business Contract Lawyer, I see the worst in good people, both employer and employee alike. This most often occurs when the simple terms sets forth both below are not set out in detail in a Georgia business contract. Also essential to any Georgia business employment contract, is a comprehensive understanding of the contract. A Business contract is only as good as the parties understanding of it in addition to their adherence and compliance with such contract. As such, I have set forth a list of what I call essential elements and which need to be addressed in any Georgia employment contract. Below is a short list of issues to be considered, negotiated, memorialized, and reviewed by an experienced Atlanta Business Contract Lawyer.
1. Term of Employment: Georgia Employment agreements are considered “at-will” if they do not otherwise specify. When advising on Georgia business contracts, I usually suggest that the Georgia employment agreement specify whether it is for a specified term, with options to renew, negotiable at the end of any term or “at-will.” Also essential to the term of employment are factors such as deferred compensation, health insurance, 401K benefits, and a host of other compensation issues.
2. Position, Job Responsibilities, and Function: Georgia employment agreements should contain specific terms, which set forth the employee’s status with the business, the responsibilities of both the employee to the business and employer, but the business and employer to the employee (i.e. training, travel expense account, etc.).
3. Location of Employment and Travel: Georgia employment contracts should set forth location necessities, changes and travel that will be involved in not only the current employment phase, but also any future employment phase, if any.
4. Compensation: Georgia employment agreements should state the compensation commensurate with the duties and include not only monetary or salary but also discretionary compensation, such as deferred compensation, health insurance, 401K benefits, and a host of other compensation issues.
5. Termination: Georgia employment agreements should provide what is involved in any termination of employment whether by the employer or employee. .
6. Tax Classification: Georgia Employment agreements often reference an employee’s status as exempt or non-exempt. In some cases, employees are classified as independent contractors. Whether or not an employee is an independent contractor, an employee, exempt, or non-exempt is often a factual analysis of the interactions amongst employees and their employers.
7. Nondisclosure Agreements or Proprietary Information Clauses: Georgia employment agreements should set forth all rights to accessible information, which may be considered the property of the employer or the employee as the case may be.
8. Non-compete Agreements: Georgia employment agreements often contain provisions limiting an employee’s right to compete with the employer, both during and after employment. Any restrictions placed on the right to work are not looked on favorably by Georgia Courts and must be reasonable in scope of time, geography and scope of work.
9. Non-solicitation Agreements: Georgia employment agreements often contain clauses stating that parties agree not to work with other parties. These clauses can be more restrictive than non-compete clauses as it only seems fair to Georgia courts that an employee should not benefit by taking business from her or his employer and bringing them to their own business. In Georgia, these provisions are oftentimes enforceable.
10. Buy-Outs, New Business Ownership or Management and Severance: Georgia employment contracts should contain provisions setting forth what will occur in the event that the there is a material change in the employer-employee relationship. This often requires contemplating matters, which may not be contemplated but may occur.
11. Arbitration, Mediation and the Dispute Procedures and Resolution Process: Georgia employment agreements should state where any legal disputes between employers and employees must be resolved, what processes must be used in the resolution and whether these dispute resolution methods are an employer or employees sole remedy, or whether the remedies are cumulative.
12. Governing Law: Georgia employment agreements usually specify the state whose law will govern the agreement and the place where any dispute resolution must take place; any litigation occur, etc.
As stated at the beginning of this article, there are major issues, which should be addressed in any Georgia business contracts, Georgia employment contracts, or Georgia employment agreements. It is highly advisable if not fundamental you have such business contract and employment agreement in writing, drafted, and reviewed by an Atlanta business contract lawyer.
When issues and disputes arise in employment, it is often the case that matters where not contemplated and set forth before the employer-employee relationship began — The Libby Law Firm, LLC represents businesses, employers, employees concerning Georgia business contracts and Georgia employment contracts and related matters. Our Firm has exceptional and highly experienced in Georgia business contract lawyers and Georgia employment contract, Georgia employment agreement and Georgia lease agreement lawyers. Please feel free to call our Firm (404) 467-8611 or to discuss your options with one of our experienced Atlanta Business Contract Lawyers or Atlanta Employment Contract Lawyers. You can also send us a message through our confidential Web Site form. The Libby Law Firm is conveniently located in the Buckhead section of Atlanta, GA near the intersection of Piedmont and Roswell Roads.