Your career is a source of many things: income, personal fulfillment, long-term security. When you're accepting a new job or leaving your current one, you don't want to make any missteps. Your career is too important to risk.
But this is just what many people have to do when presented with an employment or severance contract. If you're not a lawyer, you can struggle to decipher the language of such a contract, and you probably don't know whether a provision is standard or if it should be a point of negotiation.
James Shoemaker can help. As an employment lawyer with decades of experience in Virginia, he understands the complexities of employment contracts. He can look over yours and provide you with learned legal counsel.
If you're a resident of Virginia Beach, Virginia or any other community in the Washington, D.C. area and you're concerned about the language in an employment contract, please call Mr. Shoemaker today at 757-223-4580.
What Is an Employment Contract?
An employment contract is an agreement between an employer and an employee. It outlines the terms and conditions of employment and helps establish expectations for the role. This document often includes information about compensation, duration of employment, job duties, and more. They offer employees crucial legal protections but remove some level of flexibility.
Why Would I Need an Employment Contract Lawyer?
Employment contracts often contain legal jargon that is hard to understand. An employment contract lawyer can translate the terms into plain language so you know what you are signing. In some cases, an employment lawyer can help suggest changes and negotiate contract terms.
There is no need to worry about the impression that you may give off by hiring an employment contract lawyer. In fact, many companies expect it, especially when hiring for high-level positions. It is much riskier for your career to sign something you do not understand.
Are Oral Contracts Enforceable?
Oral employment contracts are just as enforceable as written employment contracts. However, they are much more difficult to prove. If a dispute arises, it comes down to the employer’s word against yours. Contracts can even be implied. Our attorney can provide more information about navigating these types of employment contracts all while looking out for your best interests.
What Rights Can an Employment Contract Take Away?
An employment contract can take away various employee rights depending on the terms. For example, a contract may have an arbitration clause that prevents you from solving a dispute through the traditional court process. Alternatively, it may have a restrictive covenant, such as a non-solicitation, confidentiality, or nondisclosure clause. Non-compete agreements are also quite common. Reviewing your contract with a lawyer will help you understand the limitations that it may impose on you before you commit your signature to the document.
Which Items Should I Review in My Employment Contract?
It is important to review your employment contract in full. However, you should pay close attention to certain details, such as the job description, term, and restrictive covenants. Of course, you will also want to look at the compensation information, which can be the most critical aspect of the entire document. Our attorney will conduct a thorough review as well.
How Long Do I Have To Decide Whether to Sue Someone for Breach of Contract?
If you suspect that your employer breached your employment contract, you should schedule a consultation with an attorney right away. There is a narrow window of time to pursue legal action. In Virginia, you have five years to sue for breach of written contract and three years to sue for breach of oral contract. Our attorney will help you stay on top of all relevant deadlines.
How We Can Help With Your Employment Contract
Most Americans are at-will employees – this means they can end their employment at any time, and their employer can do the same. But things are a little more complicated for some employees, especially those who are candidates for management positions.
Modern employment contracts are complicated documents. They contain a range of provisions governing any number of elements that are crucial to your career. Some of these provisions are standard and shouldn't cause too much stress. But some can dramatically restrict your freedom of movement, and should be the subjects of serious discussion.
Mr. Shoemaker and the lawyers and paralegals at Patten, Wornom, Hatten & Diamonstein can help with the following documents:
- New employment contracts
- Severance agreements
- Non-compete clauses and other restrictive covenants
It's important to remember that, as with your compensation package, your employment contract should be a subject of negotiation. You should not simply sign a contract your employer or potential employer puts in front of you.
We can help you determine which provisions or acceptable, which are worth negotiating over and which should be struck from the contract entirely. We provide you with the knowledge and expertise you need to make informed, confident decisions about your future.
If you're looking for a lawyer in Virginia with ample experience reviewing and interpreting employment contracts, please call Mr. Shoemaker today at 757-223-4580.