The relationship between employer and employee is complex and governed by many different state and federal laws and regulations. What are an employee’s rights upon termination? What information can a departing employee take to a new position? Can an employer restrict its employees from forming or joining a competing business? These types of questions are often best answered in advance and by agreement, rather than by litigation.
Our Employment Law practice group represents both employers and employees in negotiating and enforcing critical employment agreements, including:
- Non-Compete and Non-Solicitation Agreements: These agreements may restrict employees from taking jobs with specific companies, from working at all in certain industries or geographical areas, or from working with their former colleagues. Our lawyers work with employees to preserve their rights and to ensure that they receive fair compensation and an agreement that is minimally restrictive. We work on behalf of our business clients to make sure that they are up to date on the status of this ever-changing area of law and to help them draft agreements that are fair, reasonable, and most important, enforceable.
- Severance Agreements: Massachusetts employers are not generally required to provide severance pay. However, it is often beneficial for both parties to enter into a severance agreement that defines the terms of the separation, releases any and all claims, provides compensation and benefits to the employee and closure for the employer. CHWM’s employment lawyers understand these agreements and the importance of maximizing a departing employee’s severance compensation and continuing benefits.
- Confidentiality Agreements: Massachusetts law is not always clear regarding what constitutes confidential information or what an employee may disclose to third parties. We frequently review confidentiality agreements for employees, advise them of their rights and obligations with respect to information about their current or former employer, and in many cases ensure that employees receive consideration for taking on these responsibilities. We also work with employers to evaluate confidentiality issues and to draft and enforce confidentiality agreements.
- Employee Handbooks: Massachusetts law requires employers to maintain and distribute certain policies, including sexual harassment, workers compensation, minimum wage, family leave and information security policies. Many companies much comply with federal laws including the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, and the Affordable Care Act. Our employment lawyers have experience drafting employee handbooks that improve communications with and set expectations for employees. We work with employers to tailor employee handbooks to the specific needs of a company.
We get results for our clients because we are skilled negotiators and because as litigators we have successfully argued these issues in court. We understand the law, the risks, and our clients’ businesses, and we successfully leverage this knowledge and experience in our advocacy for our clients.
To discuss recent developments in this area or to inquire whether an employee agreement or handbook is right for you or your company, please contact one of our employment lawyers to set up a confidential consultation by calling our Worcester office at (508) 792-2800 or by sending us an email.