Employment Agreements

Employment in Texas is "at will," which means that either the employer or employee may terminate the employment relationship for any reason, or no reason at all. However, an employment agreement can provide specific terms and conditions of employment during the employment relationship and even after the relationship has ended.

An employment agreement is generally the first step to notify a new employee about their primary responsibilities. An employer will not generally impose any obligations on itself except maybe stating a pay rate, or the time-off policy. However, an employer usually has the ability to change the terms of the employment agreement. An employee will be faced with accepting the new terms and continuing employment, or terminating employment if the terms or conditions are unacceptable.

Accordingly, an emplployment agreement may also outline the circumstanstances that could lead to involuntary termination. Additionally, an employment agreement may spell out the terms for non-competition after termination, or soliciting employees after termination. Texas is a business friendly state, and has very tailored rules for restricting a persons right to seek work elsewhere. An employer should have language that prevents the disclosure of proprietary information as a result of a terminating employee.

Kirkpatrick Law drafts employment agreements that are customized to the needs of the business. For example, in a very competitive job function with little risks to the employer may prefer a shorter agreement that only addresses a few issues. In situations where an employer hiring for a job function with more risks (for example, executives, sales people, etc.) may want to consider a more robust agreement that covers many details, such as intellectual property.


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