At Aeton, our attorneys offer representation to employees on a broad range of issues ranging from contract negotiation at the time of hiring to wrongful termination and breach of contract. Our representation many times begins with an attorney conference to review an employee’s current circumstances. This enables us to identify available options or develop a strategy. We charge for our services with a flat fee, hourly fee agreement, contingency fee agreement, or a hybrid approach. The type of fee arrangement will depend on the type of case, the circumstances, and the potential damages.
Connecticut Lawyers for Negotiation of Employment Agreements
Our lawyers regularly advise employees on the scope and meaning of employment contracts. We also negotiate on their behalf directly with employers. Whether we negotiate directly on your behalf or coach you from behind the scenes, we will point out problem areas and seek to obtain favorable changes to your employment contract. Some of the many type of employees that we counsel include technology professionals, software engineers, executives, managers, physicians, attorneys, and salesmen. Some of these contracts include:
• Non-Compete Agreements. The best time to mitigate the risks of a lawsuit upon departure is at the outset of employment. Many employees suspect that they cannot negotiate non-compete provisions with a prospective employer for fear of losing the opportunity. However, many employers will negotiate, and it is always better to try to limit the scope of the provisions before problems arise. At minimum, our attorneys can advise on the risks involved and the scope of the non-compete provisions.
• Non-Solicitation Agreements. Non-solicitation agreements are similar to non-compete agreements. However, instead of prohibiting you from working somewhere else, non-solicit agreement prohibit the employee from trying to take clients or employees to a new business. In general, non-solicitation agreements are more readily enforced by courts, so it is best to understand the scope of these restrictions.
• Confidentiality Agreements. Many employers request employees to sign overly broad confidentiality agreements. It is important to seek limitations in these agreements to avoid unfair risk of a lawsuit upon departure.
• Executive Compensation Agreements.
These agreements typically cover management, officers, directors, and sales. Contracts typically include salary and bonus agreements, stock incentive plans, or change in control agreements. Our lawyers have reviewed and negotiated several types of compensation plans.
If you are an executive, a physician, or a sales employee, you should consider retaining an attorney to carefully review and negotiate your employment contract. It is best to seek concessions before you sign your agreement. Many times, small concessions can make a big difference down the road for purposes of advancement or when leaving for another position. Some employees do not want to jeopardize a good job offer by going to a lawyer. However, employers anticipate and expect top level candidates to have an attorney review their agreements. Additionally, our contract reviews are completely confidential unless we are asked to negotiate for you. Many times, we provide behind the scenes advice or provide suggested changes without direct negotiation.
Defense Attorneys for Non-Compete Complaints and Injunctions
Our lawyers often advise employees on strategies to implement when an employee is leaving a business, partnership, or company and there is a restriction in place for non-competition. Avoiding a lawsuit is the goal while preserving your right to fairly compete and maintain your client relationships. It is never a good idea to ignore a contract with competition restrictions even if you think it cannot be enforced. We can review your contract and find ways to minimize your risk of a lawsuit when leaving a job.
If you have been sued by your employer for alleged violation of a non-compete agreement or employment contract, our attorneys can defend you in court or at a preliminary injunction hearing. We handle a variety of these claims, including those involving the following:
- Breach of non-compete
- Breach of non-solicitation
- Breach of confidentiality
- Breach of the duty of loyalty
- Misuse of trade secrets
- Unfair trade practices
Breach of Employment Contract, Compensation Agreement
Typically, an employee will have better protections from wrongful termination or failure to pay when the employee has a contract. For example, your contract may provide an exception to the “at-will” employment rule in Connecticut or require your employer to give you severance for termination without cause. If your employer has breached your employment contract by failing to pay wages, refusing stock awards or bonus pay, refusing severance benefits, or terminating you in violation of contractual terms, we can help you identify whether you have a case and represent you in a lawsuit. Depending on the nature of your case, we may represent you on a contingency fee basis, an hourly basis, or a combination of both.
On the Job Employment Counseling
Unfortunately, many high paying jobs come with very difficult working circumstances. We often meet with clients who face any number of situations, such as bullying in the workplace, harassment, political fighting with supervisors or coworkers, unfair working conditions, or unsafe work practices. In this economy, nothing is more important than keeping your job or protecting yourself in the event you lose it. Our lead employment lawyer has helped many clients keep their jobs, survive political fights, and advance their careers. If staying employed is not a viable option, we can help you with an exit strategy. An exit strategy may include negotiation of a severance agreement.
Lawsuits and Wrongful Termination
On a select basis, we represent employees in wrongful termination lawsuits. We are not a high-volume practice and we are selective in the cases we accept. Most clients will need to fill out a questionnaire or speak to our intake administrator before a decision is made on your case. Sometimes, we will need to charge a one-time flat fee for an employment attorney conference to review your case in more detail.
Depending on the nature of the claim, we may handle your lawsuit on a contingency fee basis for attorney’s fees or a reduced hourly rate with a smaller contingency percentage. In most cases, we expect the employee to invest in his or her case with us and to cover the expenses of the litigation, such as court fees, filing fees, transcript fees, and expert fees, if needed. Our representation includes claims involving the following:
• Age discrimination
• Gender and race discrimination
• Sexual harassment
• Public policy or public concern
• Unpaid wages
• Unpaid overtime
Negotiation and Review of Severance Packages
We represent employees on a flat fee basis for the review of severance packages. We help employees determine whether the compensation offered by the employer is fair and in line with the circumstances of termination.