Understand Your Rights During Severance
Employment contracts affect your career and your future. What do you need to look out for? How do you get what you want? Most companies will write contracts with their best interests at heart, and not yours.
It is important that you consult an experienced and knowledgeable Los Angeles employment contract attorney. At Davis*Gavsie & Hakim, LLP, we can advise you on provisions to include in your employment contract, and we can negotiate for you to achieve the best possible outcome, putting your needs first.
A severance agreement is a form of settlement agreement under which an aggrieved employee agrees to accept an agreed sum of money in exchange for, among other things, abandoning all claims against the employer. Where it can be negotiated, a severance agreement saves money and aggravation for both sides. In addition to a release of all claims, severance agreements commonly include such provisions as “confidentiality,” an agreement that the employee will not compete against the employer, and that neither the employer nor the employee will make negative comments about the other.
If you have been laid off or discharged, and your employer offers you a Severance Package, don’t sell yourself short. You need an advocate to review the agreement and negotiate while looking out for your best interests. Our Santa Monica severance agreement attorneys can help you interpret the “legalese” in your Severance Agreement. We are dedicated to making sure that your rights are protected and you are properly compensated in the event of a termination.
We Can Advise on Non-Competition Agreements
Non-competition agreements are provisions contained within an employment contract that restrict the activities of an employee after leaving the service of the company. Courts treat non-competition agreements with suspicion — with an eye toward preventing unnecessary and unreasonable interference with a person’s livelihood after severance of the employer-employee relationship.
The courts will often decline to enforce “unreasonable” non-competition agreements. A non-competition clause in the agreement under which a used car lot employs an auto mechanic will likely be summarily rejected by the court as unreasonable. The agreement must be reasonable in duration. A non-competition agreement barring the sales manager of a used car lot from engaging in the used car business for the rest of his or her life, or for 50 years, would probably be denied enforcement, while one with a two-year term might well be enforced. Non-competition agreements must be reasonable in the area covered. If the agreement precludes the sales manager from engaging in the used car business anywhere in North America, it will almost certainly be denied enforcement as unreasonable. If the area is limited to Los Angeles, for example, it would probably withstand court scrutiny.
Trade Secret Agreements
Employment contracts frequently contain provisions for the protection of the employer’s “trade secrets”. These may range from customer data of one kind or another, to company designs, or even “secret recipes”. Typically, the Trade Secrets clause of an employment contract will provide for “liquidated” damages in the event of disclosure of the information. Liquidated damages are a set dollar figure agreed-upon in advance, to be paid in the event the contract clause is violated.
Our California Lawyers Are Solely Dedicated to Employment Law
We understand, as an employee, you may feel as though you are overpowered by your employer. Our lawyers, with combined experience of over 40 years in employment law, will help you explore your options and achieve your goals.
Contact Us for a Free Initial Phone Consultation
At Davis*Gavsie & Hakim, LLP, our office is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., but we offer after-hours and weekend appointments to those in need. We speak Farsi. Call 310-955-4724 for a free phone consultation or complete the form below for more information.