Chicago Employment Contract Lawyer
Typically, employment is at will with no written contracts. However, certain positions require employees with very specialized training or talent. In these situations companies are under pressure to persuade the people they need to join them. At the same time, the right position may also be difficult for an employee to find because of his or her specialized training. Employment contracts are very common in these situations. Traditionally, the term used to describe these contracts was “executive compensation agreement,” but these agreements are used for a variety of positions. If you are one of these people and offered an employment contract do NOT just sign it. Review it with an employment lawyer to make sure that it does not create potential issues for you later and to make sure that you are getting everything you require.
There are other employment contracts which companies require their employees sign to keep their jobs. One example is a non-compete agreement. A severance agreement is also a kind of contract. See our Non-Compete page and our Severance page for more specific information on those kinds of contracts and negotiations.
Negotiating An Employment Contract
The process of negotiation can be a delicate one. The first concern is to carefully analyze our client’s needs. Sometimes it is just a matter of compensation, but often there are other considerations – considerations the client may not even realize.
Once we have established what our client needs, the next step is to gather as much information as possible as to the needs of the other side. Remember that the goal here is to make new friends not new enemies. This should not be an adversarial process. Knowing what the other party is looking for in an agreement gives us the best ability to negotiate for our client’s needs while taking as little away from the other side as possible. Creative contract drafting often makes this possible where the parties do not realize it. In the end, this makes it both easier for the other side to agree and goes much further in preserving the relationship for everyone.
Once everything that can be gotten without cost to the other party is covered, we are left with those items that really require one side or the other to give. Now we need to make careful arguments to sell the other party on why it should give in on the point, or recognize that it is too much and could injure the relationship or kill the opportunity for someone to get the job. In most cases, we are able to successfully negotiate a contract that meets the client’s needs. In very rare circumstances we are forced to tell the client that neither side can seem to move on a given point and that it is too important for our client such that this is not a relationship that will work and the agreement is not worth doing.
Having negotiated an agreement, our job is not over. Someone has to draft the agreement (or if we have been working with an agreement, edit it.) Making sure that the written agreement actually says what we mean is just as important as negotiating the points.
Whether we represent an individual or a company, attorneys at Maduff & Maduff understand the needs of each and how to balance them. Our goal is to get the best possible outcome for our clients as quickly as possible. Knowing the needs of both sides also enables us to better negotiate for our client. Having an experienced Chicago employment contract lawyer carefully negotiate an executive compensation package or other employment contract has paid off for our clients time and again.