Employment Agreements, Restrictive Covenants and Employee Handbooks
A business’s most valuable assets are frequently its employees. Georgia is an “at-will” state, meaning that an employment relationship may be ended by either the employer or employee at any time for any reason or for no reason at all. If a business or employee wishes to alter the employee’s at-will status, a written employment agreement is necessary. Even when the employee will continue to be at-will, having an employment agreement in place can be valuable for the following reasons:
- Ownership of intellectual property;
- Requiring that any disputes be settled by arbitration;
- Memorialize compensation and benefits; and
- Setting for the employee’s job responsibilities.
In addition to the foregoing, for certain employees, it may be desirable to have a non-compete and non-solicit agreement in place. These agreements are carefully reviewed by judges and great care should be taken to ensure such agreements are reasonable in time, duration and scope. Each state’s laws vary on what constitutes reasonable time, duration and scope, so assistance from
Another valuable tool for most businesses is an employee handbook. These documents provide notice to the employee of the company’s policies and procedures, ranging from expense reimbursement to non-harassment. Handbooks help establish a company’s culture and can help insulate an employer from certain types of liability.