Breach of Contract and Restrictive Covenants
Although most employees in the United States work on an “at will” basis, in which the employee or employer can end the employment relationship at any time, many employees have “term” contracts that commit their employer to pay them for a set period. Many other employees have contracts or agreements with their employer that legally require their employer to compensate them a specific amount or according to specific terms (such as set bonuses or based on particular performance metrics). In fact, even your employer’s standard employee handbook and policies may, in certain circumstances, be considered binding contracts which your employer is legally required to follow.
Disputes regarding “restrictive covenants” such as non-compete and non-solicitation agreements between an employer and employee are also common. State law varies on the extent to which restrictions on an employee’s future employment and business dealings are enforceable. Factors such as the length and geographic scope of the restriction, the broadness of the activities restricted and the legitimate protectability of an employer’s interests all may be taken into account in determining whether such restrictions can be fully or even partially enforced against an employee. Wigdor LLP can help you to navigate the negotiation of such provisions, challenging the enforceability of restrictive covenants, or in counseling you through the process of being a “good leaver” who parts on good terms with your employer and commences new employment without incident.