Atlanta Employment Agreement Attorney | Employment Agreements, Non-compete Agreements, and Non-disclosure Agreements
Nearly every business requires employees to operate. Although written employment agreements are not a general legal requirement under Georgia employment law, in many cases these agreements are a practical necessity to protect the rights of both the employer and the employee. Non-compete and non-solicitation provisions may be a practical necessity for companies that provide their employees with access to proprietary information.
At the minimum, a comprehensive employment agreement will include the following terms and conditions:
- Job title,
- Job duties,
- Compensation, including benefits such as IRAs and health insurance,
- Term of employment (at-will employment contracts should specifically state that the employment is at-will),
- Termination with and without cause,
- Confidentiality protections such as non-compete and non-solicitation provisions.
In addition to employment contracts, employers should draft comprehensive employee handbooks for their employees that clearly spell out work rules and related matters such as sexual harassment policy.
Non-compete agreements are a controversial area of Georgia employment contract law because they restrict an employee’s freedom to accept post-termination employment. Due to recent legal changes, Georgia non-compete law is considered employer-friendly. Nevertheless, a Georgia employer should consult with an experienced employment lawyer before drafting such a clause and including it in an employment agreement because such clauses have been found unenforceable in the past. Some companies choose to enter into stand-alone non-compete agreements with their employees.
Non-disclosure clauses (and stand-alone agreements) prevent employees, independent contractors, and others with access to company proprietary information from divulging this information to third parties. A well-drafted non-disclosure agreement will prevent the person subject to it from disclosing any non-public information that the agreement defines as proprietary, sometimes even if the information is not otherwise protected under Georgia trade secret law. Non-disclosure agreements must be drafted carefully because Georgia courts are entitled to refuse to enforce them if they consider them “unreasonable”.
Drafting an Employment Agreement
The inclusion of arcane “legalese” is normally inappropriate in an employment contract. An employment agreement should be clear and understandable by both employer and employee. Nevertheless, employment contracts do need to be carefully drafted to avoid running afoul of employment law or experiencing a nasty courtroom surprise years down the road.
Drafting an employment agreement too specifically can lead to a myriad of legal risks. An excessively specific list of infractions for which an employee can be fired, for example, might lead a judge in some future lawsuit to conclude that the employee cannot be fired for any act not specifically listed. On the other hand, drafting a provision too broadly (a vague prohibition against “moral turpitude,” for example), might tempt a court to conclude that the provision fails to reliably inform the employee of what conduct is forbidden.
Seeking Legal Help of an Atlanta Employment Agreement Attorney
At Danowitz & Associates P.C., we have been drafting employment agreements and employment-related agreements for years. Employment is a heavily regulated area of law, and we are well-versed in the Georgia employment law that restricts the content of enforceable employment agreements. If your company is located in the Atlanta metro area, call our Atlanta Employment Agreement Attorney today at 770-933-0960 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Danowitz & Associates P.C
300 Galleria Parkway, Suite 960, Atlanta, GA 30339