Employment agreements include, but are not limited to, non-compete agreements, non-solicitation agreements, confidentiality agreements, and severance agreements. Washington state employees are commonly required to sign such agreements by their employers when they begin work. Employment agreements protect an employer’s interests, but they are often unfair to employees. At Sapphire Legal, PLLC, attorney Kristi Favard offers coaching and counseling services for employees who have been asked to sign such agreements or who previously signed one and is now leaving the employer and needs advice.
Employees can benefit from checking with their attorney before signing any employment agreement. However, some employers require such agreements as a term of employment. Coaching and Counseling employees involves a complete and thorough review of relevant documents and a meeting where Kristi will provide you her opinion and advice, answer your questions, and make recommendations to you regarding actions you should take to protect yourself.
What to Expect in a Coaching and Counseling Appointment
Step 1: Send Kristi Your Employment Documents
The first step in the employment agreement coaching and counseling process is to send all of your employment agreements and relevant documents to Kristi. Be sure to send her all:
- Employment agreements
- Non-compete agreements
- Non-solicitation agreements
- Non-disclosure agreements
- Severance agreements
Step 2: Schedule Your Online Coaching and Counseling Consultation with Kristi
At Sapphire Legal, PLLC, we understand how challenging it is to drive to appointments during the busy workweek. We also know the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on all of us. That is why we offer our clients options for making appointments and providing information online and meet with clients over the phone or by video conference.We also offer evening and weekend appointments to save you from any hassle at work, time, and money
Step 3: Kristi Will Review Your Documents In Depth Before Your Appointment
Kristi will carefully review all of your employment agreements and documents prior to meeting with you so she can help you determine the best path forward. She has your best interests in mind and with her decades of experience, she will provide invaluable guidance to you. Kristi knows that employers often create employment agreements that seriously disadvantage employees. Unfortunately, many employees feel pressured to sign these agreements by their employer on their first day or work even though they will become disadvantaged by the terms of the agreement. This is a fundamentally unfair position to put employees in and oftentimes, the agreements are too broad and can be subject to revision if challenged. That is why we are here to help you. You do not want to be prohibited from working in your industry due to an employment agreement you signed with a former employer. Let us help you get out of that agreement and get on with your life.
Step 4: Kristi Will Meet with You by phone or video conference
Using her legal experience and skill, Kristi will comb through your employment agreements and find any provisions that are unfair to you, as an employee. During your appointment, she will review your documents with you and tell you what provisions in the agreement cause her concern or that she believes can be challenged in court. She will also make recommendations to you regarding actions you should take and future legal representation, if necessary.
In some cases, Kristi might recommend that you do not sign your employment agreement because it is not in your best interest or she may tell you that the employment agreement you signed is now null and void. She will use her extensive legal experience to help you navigate your employment agreements with your best interests and future in mind. At Sapphire Legal, PLLC, we always keep the goals of our clients at the forefront and Kristi will walk you through all of your options.
The Benefits of Hiring an Attorney to Review Your Employment Agreement in a Coaching and Counseling Appointment
You may be wondering how you might benefit from hiring an attorney to review your employment agreement. After all, you may have a good relationship with your employer or potential employer and assume they want the best for you.
Perhaps you’re focused on getting to work and don’t want to set aside the time to have an employer review your contract. Taking the time to allow an experienced employment lawyer to discuss your agreement is incredibly beneficial, especially because no one can predict the future. If you’re in any of the following employment situations, scheduling a coaching and counseling session with attorney Kristi Favard can help:
- A potential employer made you an initial employment offer
- You are negotiating a raise with your current employer
- An employer offered you a job and provided you with an employment contract to sign
- You are concerned about the long-term effects of a non-compete agreement
- Your employer has offered you a severance agreement
- Your employer requires you to sign a confidentiality agreement
Negotiating Your Employment Agreement
While many employers will not negotiate their employment agreements, some employers will enter into negotiations, especially for executive positions. Taking the time to negotiate an employment agreement before you begin your new job can help you avoid conflict later in your career. However, it can also sometimes be a deal breaker and Kristi excels at determining the right approach and tone to take in all of her cases.
Employees often assume that they must accept the terms of their employment agreements without question. Some do not even read what they are signing. Taking the time to review your contracts before you sign them is critical for understanding your rights and responsibilities. It will also give you the chance to refuse to sign the agreement if the terms are disadvantageous to you. At Sapphire Legal, PLLC, we have experience negotiating all of the following types of provisions in employment contracts:
- Criteria for raises
- Bonus structure
- Commission payments
- Severance payments
- Confidentiality agreements
- Non-compete agreements
- Non-solicitation agreements
- Trade Secret Agreements
Red Flags to Look Out for in Employment Contracts
When reviewing your agreements, Kristi will look for red flags and provide you with advice about them during your appointment. She will help you understand the terms and conditions to which you’ll need to adhere if you sign the document or have already signed the document.
One of the most important red flags to check for is overly restrictive non-compete agreements. A non-compete agreement will restrict where you can work for a designated period after you stop working for your employer. Although Washington just passed a law nullifying non-compete agreements for employees who make less than $100,000 per year, non-competes are still enforceable against employees who make more than that and can severely restrict you from obtaining future employment and could cost you your livelihood.
Contact Us to Schedule Your Coaching and Counseling Process Today
Contact attorney Kristi Favard at Sapphire Legal, PLLC today to schedule a coaching and counseling appointment, which includes an in depth review of your employment agreement.