This is the next post in my series on the importance of employee contracts for Olympia and Tacoma companies. My last article provided an overview of topics which this series will be addressing. It also stressed the need to retain a business law attorney who is experienced in handling such issues. By retaining experienced counsel, you help to ensure that your employment contracts address important employment issues. In this article I will provide several reasons, which will be expanded upon in my coming articles, why employers should utilize such agreements. If you require help with and employment contract then contact my office today to speak with a lawyer.
Olympia and Tacoma businesses can use an employment contract to spell out the responsibilities of an employee
The first benefit of a properly drafted employee contract is that the company can clearly spell out the requirements and expectations of a job. There are, unfortunately, times when an employee must be terminated for the failure to perform their duties. Such employees may attempt to allege that they were fired through no fault of their own and file an unemployment claim against you. Worse, some employees may attempt to file a discrimination or wrongful termination suit. If you do not clearly define what is expected of your employees, then there may be room for legitimate disagreement as to whether they were performing their duties because there might be a legitimate dispute over what “their duties” actually were. A properly drafted contract can help to protect you against claims for unemployment, discrimination or wrongful termination.
Another benefit of having a clearly defined employee contract is that it can spell out company policies. These policies can include the times by which someone must be at work, dress codes, internet or computer use, interactions with supervisors or other employees, the reprimand or training process, and how a reprimand can lead to termination. By including such provisions, you protect your company from potential liability. These are just some of the reasons why Olympia and Tacoma businesses should use such agreements.
Washington businesses can protect themselves from competition through employment agreements
Another benefit of an employment agreement is that Washington businesses can avoid feeding their competition. A “covenant not to compete” can prevent an employee, who has learned your business practices and procedures, from starting a competing company in your market or taking those means and methods to an existing competitor. A contract can also include provisions requiring that trade secrets, client lists, bidding procedures, and other company information be kept confidential and not appropriated for use outside or against the company. This, in turn, can help you to remain competitive.
I will be expanding on these issues, and discussing others, in my upcoming articles. If you require help with employment contract matters, please contact my office to speak with an Olympia employment contract attorney. Our firm also serves the Thurston County cities of Lacey, Tumwater, and Yelm, the Pierce County cities of Tacoma, Puyallup, and Lakewood, the Lewis County cities of Centralia, Chehalis, the King County cities of Seattle, Auburn, Bellevue, Burien, and Federal Way, as well as other areas in Washington, including Grays Harbor, Mason, Cowlitz, and Pacific Counties.