Kenji

Labor & Employment

General Information

Most successful business not only have a great product or service, they have a team of amazing people. As your business grows, it is important implement a strategy to build and manage your team. A key part of your strategy should be proactively dealing with employment law issues to protect both the business and also its employees.

For small businesses, hiring employees is a huge step. Putting together a great team can help your business thrive and grow to the next level. It is important to make sure that the business (and employee) is appropriately protected. Working with an experienced Kenji employment attorney can help you understand the issues, customize documents, and ensure your business is following applicable regulations – giving you protection and peace of mind.

For individuals receiving offer letters or employment agreements there are often many questions about what their legal rights are. For individuals terminated from a position, it can be a contentious, emotional time in which a party may feel mistreated and there may be legal rights. Talking to an experienced Kenji employment attorney can help identify those rights, saving time, money, and potential headache in the future.

Confidentiality Agreements

Confidentiality agreements, also known as non-disclosure agreements or NDAs, are crucial agreements for companies that need to manage confidential information and protect intellectual property. When hiring employees, confidentiality agreements help ensure that your business’s confidential or proprietary information remains so. These agreements ensure that potential hires or employees maintain the confidentiality of information disclosed during their relationship with the business. Additionally, confidentiality agreements are frequently combined with invention assignment agreements to secure intellectual property rights developed by employees for the company.

Offer Letter

Offer letters are typically used to help ensure the company and candidate for employment are in agreement on the requirements of the position and benefits before starting. Frequently candidates are asked to sign an employment offer letter, even though the letter is not a binding employment contract. Offer letters should contain key information including job requirements, salary, guaranteed and discretionary bonuses, other benefits, non-compete and non-solicitation information, etc.

Employment Agreements

Employment agreements are generally used for key employees or senior executives. These employees are may be hired for fixed time periods and frequently have more complex compensation and benefits packages, which are important to set forth in a written agreement. Employment agreements can specify the aspects of the employment relationship including duration of the job, employee responsibilities, benefits, grounds for termination, non-compete and non-solicitation information, confidentiality, and intellectual property rights ownership, among other things. There are distinct advantages and disadvantages to using employment contract that an experienced Kenji attorney can advise on.

Independent Contractor Agreements

Utilizing independent contractors can provide businesses with much greater flexibility and potentially reduce costs, as compared with employees. An independent contractor can also be known as a freelancer or consultant.

When hiring independent contractors, it is important to put the agreement in writing to avoid potentially costly misunderstandings regarding work to be performed, timeline, compensation, etc. Additionally, having a written agreement helps to establish that the independent contractor is truly an independent contractor and not an employee.

Invention Assignment Agreements

Invention assignment agreements are used by companies to clearly state ownership of intellectual property employees create while employed by the company. Intellectual property can be extremely valuable for tech startups and other companies that create or develop intellectual property. These types of companies typically have employees, including founders, sign invention assignment agreements to ensure that the company has rights to intellectual property developed by employees or brought by founders.

Stock Options

Many early stage companies use stock options as a way to attract talented employees and incentivize employees to contribute to the success of the company. Offering and managing stock options can be rather complex and consulting an experienced business or employment attorney, such as those found on Kenji, is advised.

Employee Handbooks

Employee handbooks inform employees of policies and procedures of the company and help to establish the company’s expectations. Employee handbooks generally summarize the company’s policies as well as clearly state how to obtain more detailed information if necessary. Well written employee handbooks also describe the employee's’ rights and legal obligations of the employer.

Employee handbooks typically contain topics such

  • Non-disclosure statements
  • Conflict of interest statements
  • Anti-discrimination policies
  • Compensation policies
  • Employee benefits
  • Work schedules
  • Leave policies
  • Attire
  • Standards of conduct
  • Safety and security
  • Computers and technology policies
  • Other general employment information

Developing a well written employee handbook can take a lot of time and effort. Although it may be tempting to simply copy another company’s handbook or use free templates, each company is unique and an employee handbook should be tailored to the company’s specific policies and needs. Working with an experienced Kenji employment attorney can actually save you time, letting you focus on running your business and giving you peace of mind.

Separation Agreements

Even the best run-companies have to part ways with employees. Separations can occur because an employee has found a new position that facilitates their career growth, but can also occur because an employee simply does not fit with the company any more. Whether it is an amicable separation or a termination, it is important to avoid disputes.

Separation agreements (also known as severance agreements) help companies avoid disputes with departing employees and can protect the company. Typically, employees will agree not to disparage the company, waive claims against the company, and maintain confidentiality in exchange for additional compensation. When an employee departs, especially if they have to be terminated, it is important to consult an employment attorney to ensure the company is protected and avoid costly disputes.

Employment & Discrimination Laws

When dealing with employees, there are many local, state, and federal laws and regulations that must be considered. Complying with the various laws and regulations that apply to your business is important to limit the potential for employees bringing claims against your business in the future. The applicable laws and regulations can vary between different locations, business types, and business sizes, among other factors. An experienced Kenji employment attorney can help you to navigate the applicable laws and regulations to protect the business, giving you peace of mind.

Costs

Cost vary depending on the type of employment work, attorney rates, attorney experience, and necessary turnaround time, among other considerations. A simple confidentiality agreement will be much less than if you need an attorney to negotiate and draft an employment agreement for you.

Since each business’s employment needs are unique, with Kenji you can now easily request custom proposals for each project from vetted attorneys and find the best one for your business – saving you time and money.

FAQ

Many early stage companies use stock options as a way to attract talented employees and incentivize employees to contribute to the success of the company. Offering and managing stock options can be rather complex and consulting an experienced business or employment attorney, such as those found on Kenji, is advised.