Starting a business is an exciting time. Seeing the company grow and thrive is even better! The last thing business owners want to worry about at a time like this is paperwork, but legal documents like contracts, policies, and agreements are important tools to protect their business. Employment documents can act as both a shield and a sword in battles to protect the organization and the people in it.
What are Employment Docs?
Every job begins and ends with paperwork. SixFifty’s Employment Docs cover every step of the employee lifecycle—starting with the offer letter and employee contract to the employee handbook and agreements, and ending with the separation agreement. It’s crucial for a business to have customized legal documents that comply with state and federal employment laws in order to establish clear expectations for all parties.
Like a suit of armor, legal employment documents can provide security and peace of mind to protect your business and your team. With the right documents in place, you can focus on what you do best—growing your business.
Employment Docs as a shield
The right legal documents can act as a shield to protect a business against legal liability. Organizations can and should rely on sturdy legal documents to maximize their protection under the law in case an employee files a claim against them. By clearly defining the terms of employment and the rights and responsibilities of both the employer and the employee, employment agreements and policies can provide protection for the business.
There are many documents that a business can employ to protect itself; here are a few examples:
- Employment Contract. This is a legal agreement between employer and employee. It outlines the terms and conditions of employment so both the employer and the employee know what to expect of each other and can refer back to the contract if a dispute arises.
- Employee Handbook. This is a document that outlines the company’s policies and procedures. It may include policies on issues such as work location, dress code, harassment, work relationships, weapons in the workplace, and many more. Having a robust employee handbook can help protect the company by setting clear expectations and standards for behavior.
- Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA): A non-disclosure agreement (NDA) is a contract that prohibits employees from sharing confidential information about the company with an outside party. This can help protect the company’s intellectual property and trade secrets from being disclosed or used by competitors.
- Separation Agreement. This is a document that both employer and employee agree to at the termination of employment. The terms of the agreement—like a severance package—can prevent a former employee from bringing a claim against the employer.
In order for these documents to be effective in protecting the company, they should be drafted by an experienced employment attorney and regularly reviewed and updated to ensure that they comply with current employment laws and regulations.
Employment Docs as a sword
It’s easier to think of legal documents acting as a shield of protection against a possible future dispute, hoping that no dispute ever arises. But a shield can only go so far in battle. If a dispute happens, well-drafted employment documents can act as a sword to go after a bad actor—specifically an employee who has violated the terms of an agreement they signed.
Here are some legal documents that can be used to pursue justice in the case of a violation:
- Invention Assignment. Signers of this document agree that any new invention created on company time and with company resources belongs to the company. If, for example, an engineer creates proprietary technology for the company that employs them, then tries to claim ownership of the invention and create a rival business, the company may point to the Invention assignment to go after the engineer and claim their property.
- Confidentiality Agreement. This document, also known as a Non-Disclosure Agreement, or NDA, identifies confidential company information and prohibits employees from disclosing it during their employment and for a period of time afterwards. If an employee does share the protected information, the previously-signed confidentiality agreement can be used to pursue a punishment. Avenge your “special sauce” in court with this document.
- Non-Solicit and Non-Compete Agreements. A Non-Solicit Agreement is a contract where an employee agrees not to solicit the company’s clients, employees, or other individuals with whom the employee worked. A Non-Compete Agreement is a contract where an employee agrees to not compete with a company for a certain period of time after employment. If, for example, a former employee who signed a Non-Solicit Agreement during employment tries poaching everyone they used to work with for a rival company, the agreement they signed can be used against them.
In order for legal employment documents to be effective in pursuing a bad actor, it is important for the employer to ensure that the documents are legally binding and enforceable. Some states have limitations on restrictive covenants like non-compete and non-solicitation agreements, with hefty fines for violations, so make sure to research state employment laws before drafting your legal documents.
SixFifty: your partner in arms
Legal employment documents can be a company’s best friend when it comes to protecting their business. But, in order for them to be enforceable, contracts, policies, and documents must comply with the states where employees work. A common mistake with employment documents is using a general set of paperwork for all fifty states. State laws vary widely. If you have one set of paperwork for all fifty states, you lose both the sword and the shield, leaving your business vulnerable.
For maximum protection, let SixFifty be your partner in arms. Our Employment Docs help companies generate top-tier legal documents for every stage of the employment lifecycle— offer letters, employment contracts, employee handbooks, separation agreements, and more.
Working with SixFifty is like having a panel of top-tier employment lawyers by your side to update your policies and documents as the law changes.
If you are ready to get started or have any questions, schedule a demo with SixFifty today!