Do you have your eye on a particular winemaker, executive chef or marketing guru for your winery or hospitality based business? Are you looking for ways to attract key talent to your business? If so, your may want to consider an employment agreement as an option for retaining that “must have” person for your business.
Employment agreements are valuable tools to have in your business toolbox. They can be beneficial to both the employer and the employee. The parties enter into these written agreements in order to define their expectations around the employment relationship. These agreements can be very useful for recruiting, attracting, and retaining key employees.
For example, as an employer you may not want your competitors to hire that valuable employee you’ve managed to land, or to lose the intellectual property information about your business that he or she possesses. Thus, the employment agreement can offer you a level of protection that you may not have had otherwise. The employment agreement can be an insurance policy of sorts, protecting against an employee’s failure to act in accordance with the prior agreed upon terms.
Alternatively, your future employee may want certain assurances in the event of discharge. If the employment relationship begins to crumble, there are typically termination and severance provisions in the agreement that address what are to be the financial payments to the employee in the event of termination.
While these agreements may include provisions that obligate the employer, they can also restrict the employees in areas of key interest to the employer. There are various clauses that may be included in the employment agreement to protect an employer’s interest. A few important provisions to consider in a well drafted employment agreement are as follows:
Compensation Clause: This provision details monetary expectations including salary, bonuses, benefits, relocation and other compensatory items the employer and employee may negotiate.
Non Compete Clause: This provision protects the employer from employees accepting employment with a competitor, starting their own competing venture, or working for the competition while they are still employed with you.
Non-Disclosure Clause: A non disclosure or confidentiality clause prohibits an employee from unauthorized disclosure of confidential or proprietary information, trade secrets, inventions created or known as a result of their employment.
Ownership of Intellectual Property Clause: This provision details who owns the intellectual property created by the employee during the duration of the employment period.
Non-Solicitation Clause: This provision is designed to prevent your employees from soliciting your valuable assets such as other employees, customers, suppliers or clients away from your business when they leave.
Arbitration Clause: This provision provides for the arbitration of employment disputes versus court litigation.
So, the next time you have your eye on hiring that very special winemaker, executive chef, marketing guru or …better yet…your own idea of that “must have” talent for your business, carefully consider an employment agreement.