How to Legally End Employee Contracts
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Avoid legal pitfalls of ending employment contracts.
In today's employment climate, very few terminations are without some level of legal risk. Often, employers approach termination decisions without fully considering their legal obligations, and they fail to take important steps that will reduce the risk of legal claims. Managers and HR professionals may spend years wrapped up in litigation that could have been avoided by devoting an hour or two toward evaluating and planning a termination. Identify key steps that every employer should take in preparing for a termination, and how to approach a termination in a manner that decreases rather than increases the risk of a wrongful termination claim.
AuthorsHolly L. Sutton, Farella Braun + Martel LLP Chandra S. Andrade, Farella Braun + Martel LLP
Written Employment Agreements
• Term Agreements: Common for Executives, On-Air Personalities, Other Specialized Fields
- Reviewing Notice Requirements at End of Term
- What Happens When a Term Contract Expires and Relationship Continued?
- Evaluating "for Cause" Termination and "Good Reason" Termination
- The Role of Attorneys' Fees
- Employee Resigns/Breaches a Term Agreement
• Notice Only Agreements
- How Much Notice Is Reasonable?
- Be Mindful of One-Way Notice Provisions
- Calendar Notice Dates in Advance
- Damages That Arise When Notice Dates Are Missed
• At-Will Agreements With Severance or Notice Provisions
- Many Agreements Are "At-Will" Agreements but Provide for Payment of a Severance If the Employee Is Terminated Without Cause or for Good Reason
- Guidance on the Tax Implications of 409A Requirements
• Silent Written Agreement
- Is the Employee "At-Will" or Can They Be Terminated for Good Cause Only?
- Integration Clauses
• How Enforceable Are Verbal Agreements?
• Where Terms May Be Reflected in Other Communications
• State Law Will Govern Whether Employee Is "at Will"
• Parole Evidence Rule
Best Practices for Terminations
• Developing Formal and Informal Policies
• Serious Misconduct
• Repeated Misconduct
• Poor Performance
• Trial or Probationary Periods
• Following a Disability Leave
• Return of Property