Our Experienced Maryland Employment Lawyer Fights Unfair Employment Contracts And Agreements

Employment Contracts and Agreements

Employment contracts in Maryland are common and typically are part of the hiring process for those in corporate executive, sales, science or other highly-skilled positions. Typically, these contracts set out the terms of your employment by memorializing your compensation, benefits, job title, and job duties, among other important terms.

It is important to understand that employment contracts or employment agreements presented by your employer are simply starting points in a critical negotiation process. If properly negotiated, the terms of the agreement can be changed so that they can provide you with an added level of security as you perform your job duties. 

Before accepting a new position or terms to an employment contract, you should contact an employment attorney. To ensure that you are protected, it is absolutely essential that you have an experienced Maryland employment lawyer review, analyze, and negotiate any employment agreement that your employer presents to you. The skilled attorneys at the Law Firm of J.W. Stafford, LLC have years of experience handling employment contract matters and can help ensure you have the best possible result in your agreement.

Employment Agreements In Maryland 

Because employers in Maryland are quite experienced in crafting employment agreements, you will be at a disadvantage if you attempt to negotiate your employment agreement without an experienced Maryland employment lawyer representing you. 

Aside from not possibly understanding all of the terms included in the agreement – including legal obligations and/or risks involved – you may not be aware if part or all of the agreement is even valid or enforceable. Moreover, if only your employer has say in what is put in the agreement, the likelihood that the terms will be more favorable to them and less favorable to you is high. These are just some of the many reasons for retaining an experienced Maryland employment attorney. He or she will make sure that you receive the best advice possible, as you will have an experienced negotiator on your side looking out for your best interests.

Because employers in Maryland are quite experienced in crafting employment agreements, you will be at a disadvantage if you attempt to negotiate your employment agreement without an experienced Maryland employment lawyer representing you.

The experienced Maryland employment lawyers here at The Law Firm of J.W. Stafford, L.L.C. know where employers attempt to take advantage of their employees. These skilled negotiators stand ready to provide the best legal advice available to Maryland workers. One example of how Maryland workers may be harmed without the assistance of an experienced employment attorney is with non-compete or non-disclosure clauses required by employers in their agreements. Many employers, in Maryland and across the nation, will try to insert broad non-compete or non-disclosure provisions (also known as “restrictive covenants”) in your employment agreement. These clauses can pose a real problem for you upon your departure from the company. A broad non-compete provision in an employment contract can severely limit your ability to pursue new opportunities with other companies and affect your financial future, and quite possibly your career in general.

Our Maryland employment attorneys counsel clients on navigating these restrictive covenants. We bring to bear experienced negotiation skills to completely eliminate or at least narrow these provisions in employment agreements in order to protect your ability to make a living. If you have already signed your employment agreement and are attempting to overcome a restrictive covenant such as a non-compete provision, know that you can still fight these terms. We also represent clients in litigating these issues with a wealth of knowledge to efficiently and effectively fight overly broad employment restrictions.

Even if you do not want us to negotiate your employment agreement for you, our attorneys can confidentially review the employment agreement tendered by the company. By hiring a skilled Maryland employment lawyer from our team, you will have a full understanding of where there may be a need to fight for better terms or more precise language in the employment agreement.

Non-Compete Agreements

A non-compete agreementalso known as a restrictive covenant, is a type of employment contract that is designed to protect a company from having their former employee begin working for a direct competitor in their industry.  In order to be enforceable, a non-compete agreement is required to be reasonable in terms of duration and geographic scope.  When a new employee is hired, they may be asked to sign a non-compete agreement.

The non-compete agreement may stipulate that while employed at the company, the employee is to refrain from working with the business’ clients or competitors independently. The agreement may also specify that, should the employee leave the company, they must refrain from working with the business’ clients or competitors for a particular period of time, which can range from a few months to a few years.

Although non-compete agreements can work in favor of the company, they often hinder workers from finding new employment opportunities in their industry. Failure to obtain legal counsel before executing a non-compete agreement can be disastrous for an employee when their employment with the company ends.  That is why it is imperative that employees who are presented with a non-compete agreement obtain legal counsel from an experienced Maryland employment attorney to ensure their rights are protected.

Severance Agreements

While this may seem counter intuitive, however, it is often a good idea to negotiate your severance agreement at the same time you are negotiating your employment contract. Our attorneys routinely counsel and represent clients ranging from high-level executives to mid-level employees on the importance of doing this. This is especially true if there is a non-compete provision in the employment agreement.

Severance agreements, just like employment agreements, must be reviewed and negotiated by an experienced employment attorney. If negotiated properly, a severance agreement can help you get a new start in your professional career. These agreements can provide you with the compensation, benefits, and protection you need to secure your next employment opportunity. A severance agreement is vital when there is a non-compete provision included in your initial employment agreement.

Confidentiality Agreements

Confidentiality agreements are used in virtually every industry, not just in Maryland, but across the country. Confidentiality agreements are typically used to protect businesses from having their trade secrets that are learned during the course of employment shared by a former employee once he or she leaves the company. Trade secrets may include customer or vendor lists, sales plans, manufacturing processes, or formulas for a product.

There are several elements to a confidentiality agreement including a definition of what confidential information consists of, any exclusions from a confidential designation, the obligations of the party receiving the confidential information, the time period under which the receiving party must keep the information confidential, and any other miscellaneous provisions. Miscellaneous provisions may include applicable state law, whether arbitration is required in the event of a dispute, and if the prevailing party is awarded attorneys’ fees. It is important for a knowledgeable employment contract lawyer in Maryland to review any confidentiality agreement presented to you by an employer to make sure your rights are protected and that the contract is not overly broad.

Small Business Agreements

Small business owners sometimes conduct business with a handshake or orally agree to terms of a business deal. While verbal contracts may be enforceable under the law, it is best to make sure all terms are made clear in writing to protect all parties in a small business agreement.

Contracts are legally binding agreements. Should one party not hold up its end of the bargain, the other party has legal remedies it can pursue for any resulting damages because of the breach. There are specific elements that must be met in order for a contract to be valid and, therefore, enforceable on the parties involved. Before signing any agreement, small businesses should make sure a skilled Maryland employment  attorney reviews and makes any necessary changes to the agreement. The legal costs involved in having an attorney involved early will pale in comparison to the cost of litigating the terms of the small business contract in the event of a breach.

Professional Service Employment Agreements

A professional services employment agreement is often the contract of choice when it comes to one-time projects, whether big or small. That being said, it is vital to fully understand the terms of a professional services agreement because like all other contracts, once signed, it is a legally binding document.

Generally these types of agreements are best for situations in which the projects needed are specific in nature, require a high level of expertise or knowledge, and are one-time or infrequent. Generally, these agreements are limited in scope and the contracted professional needs little, if any, supervision. It is best to have a knowledgeable Maryland employment lawyer review a professional services employment agreement to ensure best practices are being used in the contract. This is because the agreement itself will likely be long and full of legal and technical terms specific to the intended project. It is vital that the agreement include terms such as project expectations, procedures dealing with delays, term and contract termination guidelines, confidentiality expectations, liability considerations, and payment terms, among others.

Working With A Maryland Employment Lawyer

Whether you have been presented with an employment contract, are negotiating a small business contract, or are bound to a confidentiality agreement, you should contact an experienced Maryland attorney to review and/or litigate your matter to ensure your rights under the contract are protected. Working with the experienced attorneys here at The Law Firm of J.W. Stafford, L.L.C. is simple, confidential, and efficient. We thoroughly review your options and the law and then put together a comprehensive strategy to achieve your goals.

Attorney Jamaal (“Jay”) W. Stafford is an experienced Maryland employment lawyer. He brings to bear his legal knowledge and employment law expertise to review and negotiate employment agreements and crafts creative solutions for each of his clients. If you would like for an experienced employment contract lawyer to review or negotiate an employment agreement that has been presented to you by an employer, you can contact us via our website or call us at 410-514-6099.

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