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Employment Contracts & Severance Agreements

Annapolis-Based Employment Agreements/Severance Agreements

Serving Clients Throughout Maryland, the DMV Area, North Carolina, and Federal Employees Throughout the U.S.

Whether you are a business needing assistance in drafting Employment Agreements and Severance Agreements or an employee who needs assistance in reviewing these agreements and negotiating the terms of the agreements, the Law Office of Ruth Ann Azeredo, LLC has decades of experience drafting, reviewing and negotiating these agreements.  We also represent employees and businesses when disputes arise under these agreements, including bringing claims or defending claims in court or arbitration.

Employers

Often, an Employment Agreement may not necessarily be beneficial to the employer. However, in certain types of industries and for executive level employees, it may be imperative to set out specific terms for your employee. In those situations, it is critical that you draft an agreement that avoids unenforceable and other problematic terms. For that reason, it is prudent to have an experienced attorney help you draft and/or review the agreement so as to maximize the likelihood that the terms are reasonable and not in contravention with laws or public policy. 

Employment Agreements often contain restricting language, such as non-compete, non-disclosure (NDA), non-competition, and non-disparagement clauses. Most often, these are allowed but they must be worded so as to not impose greater restrictions than the law allows. In addition, where employers seek to have employees sign Arbitration Agreements, those must be drafted so as to comport with current law. 

There are certain “must haves” in any employment agreement so that the parties to the agreement are clear on what is required and the parties have a clear process to follow should a dispute arise. 

As an employer, you want to protect your business concerns, which is a valid and recognized goal. The delicate balance of achieving that goal but not overstepping onto employee rights is why it is important to have an experienced attorney draft or review Employee and Severance Agreements. 

We Can Help You
At the Law Office of Ruth Ann Azeredo, LLC, we have decades of experience drafting and reviewing these agreements and, if disputes arise, we also have decades of experience defending claims or bringing claims, both in court and in arbitration.

Employees

Though most employees are “at will,” some employees work under an Employment Agreement. When you are provided with an Employment Agreement to read, acknowledge and sign, it is important that you understand what you are agreeing to. Most Employment Agreements include terms that will restrict what you can do while employed and after your employment ends. Many employees sign these agreements without understanding what they are agreeing to and this can lead to serious consequences. 

The restrictions imposed often include limits on what you can say about the employer, limits on what type of work you can do after leaving your employment, requirements you must meet as an employee, terms of wages and benefits, and non-disparagement requirements. Further, these agreements may include the requirement that you waive your right to go to court if a dispute arises and that any dispute that needs to be litigated occurs only in a particular location. 

For that reason, you will want to take the time to understand how these terms affect you during your employment and beyond. You may want to negotiate some of these terms to limit their effect and to allow you greater freedoms after you are no longer working for that employer. To fully understand the terms, it is best to have an attorney review the agreement prior to you signing it. 

In addition, it is not uncommon to be presented with a Severance Agreement from your employer, when being terminated. Once again, it is critical that you fully understand the terms of the Severance Agreement. Most of these agreements require that you waive all known or unknown claims against the employer and include additional burdensome restrictions that may be very difficult to adhere to, especially if they are ongoing. These additional terms most often include tricky and burdensome non-disparagement clauses, non-disclosure clauses and no rehire provisions. The remedies for breach of these agreements can be very severe, including returning all money paid to you under the agreement. Further, most often, these agreements require you to pay attorney fees and costs if the employer prevails in a claim against you. 

At times, Severance Agreements will contain illegal restrictions or overreaching terms. In light of the seriousness of these terms and the long-term effect they will have on you, it is important to have an attorney review the Severance Agreement and, if needed, help you negotiate terms that are more beneficial to you. Ultimately, what is important is that you understand what the terms require you to do. 

We Can Help You
At the Law Office of Ruth Ann Azeredo, LLC, we have decades of experience reviewing Employment Agreements and Severance Agreements and negotiating terms on your behalf as an employee. Where disputes arise from these Agreements, we can bring claims on your behalf or defend them, in court or arbitration.

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