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Employment Agreements

Phoenix Employment Agreement Lawyers Represent Businesses and Executives

Arizona attorneys help negotiate compensation and non-competition packages that protect your interests

Arizona’s employment statutes and case law are highly favorable to the business owner, provided the business has in place employment agreements that incorporate them. For example, because of applicable law in Arizona wrongful termination suits are very difficult to bring, and non-competition and non-solicitation clauses are enforceable.

Although most employment in Arizona and throughout the United States is at will, a company that wants to attract quality executive talent must present an attractive offer, memorialized in an employment contract. At the Law Offices of Donald W. Hudspeth P.C., our Phoenix business attorneys help companies of all sizes negotiate compensation packages for executive candidates. We also represent prospective employees to help them obtain the most favorable terms possible and to ensure they understand the various aspects of the contract. When a dispute arises, we provide litigation services to either side to reach a fair and timely resolution. With employment agreements, we are determined to advance our clients’ interests so they can achieve their immediate objectives and their long-term goals.

Meticulous care in creating lasting and effective agreements

Hiring executive talent is a painstaking process for the company and the prospective hire. When ownership believes they’ve found the right candidate, and the candidate feels the position is a good fit, there’s relief all around. But that doesn’t mean the deal should be finalized hastily. Any uncertainty or vagueness in the employment contract can result in expensive litigation down the road. To help ensure the new relationship works out, knowledgeable attorneys for our firm negotiate the contract details, which generally include:

  • Base salary
  • Incentives
  • Stock options or phantom stock plans
  • Performance benchmarks
  • Vesting periods
  • Term of service
  • Severance
  • Fringe benefits

Our business attorneys are adept at analyzing the circumstances for employer and employee alike, to understand the potential parameters of a deal. We negotiate skillfully and draft agreements precisely, so the terms are clear, concise and enforceable. Whenever issues arise, we are ready to advocate for our client to uphold their rights under the contract.

Noncompete agreements in Arizona employment contracts

A noncompete clause is an important part of an Arizona employment contract. The last thing management wants is for employees to leave the company and take valuable trade secrets, proprietary information and talent with them. However, courts often look unkindly on “non-competes,” especially when they are overly restrictive and cause undue hardship for the employee who is simply trying to earn a living after separation from the company.

Our business attorneys understand the ins and outs of noncompete clauses. Employers and prospective or existing employees often call upon the firm to review employment agreements, not only in Arizona but from around the United States. Whether we are representing a business or an employee, we rely on principled negotiations to accomplish deals that protect our clients’ rights.

Elements of an effective and enforceable noncompete agreement include:

  • Trade secret protection — Companies have a right to protect their trade secrets and can prohibit a separated employee from misappropriating those secrets indefinitely. Therefore, it is important to state plainly what the trade secrets are. The company cannot unreasonably restrict an employee from using knowledge gained under its employment, if that knowledge pertains to unprotected material. A noncompete can also prohibit a separated employee from hiring away key staff, at least for a period of time.
  • Geographic limitations — The company can prohibit the employee from going into direct competition by opening a similar business within a designated geographic area. The geographic limitation must be reasonable and cannot effectively prevent the employee from working anywhere. Today, in the internet world of national and international commerce the “geographic limitation” may be the company’s particular and essential line of business.
  • Period of enforceability — All non-competes are time limited. Non-competes that last more than two years are heavily suspect and a court might not find the agreement to be enforceable beyond a two-year period.
  • Consideration — A noncompete agreement requires consideration to be binding. In Arizona an offer of employment or continued employment is typically sufficient consideration for most portions of the employment agreement. However, if no other or additional consideration (some benefit) is to be paid for the “restrictive covenants” of non-competition, non-solicitation and confidentiality, then careful drafting is necessary to make the noncompete effective.

“Restrictive covenants” are increasingly becoming an “all or nothing proposition; that is, the employer drafts the clauses and the courts say “yes or no.” Courts will sever but not rewrite unenforceable terms. Businesses naturally want a noncompete to be as restrictive as possible, but over-reaching with the terms could ultimately invalidate the agreement. Thus, it is important that the agreement be drafted in accordance with the laws of the state. Our attorneys are well-versed in the law on these matters and can offer reliable advice, so you can have confidence that the terms you agree to are enforceable.

Breach of employment contract representation for businesses and employees

Our business attorneys provide robust representation for cases of alleged breaches of employment contracts. Points of contention often include:

  • Overtime
  • Whether bonuses were earned
  • Whether performance benchmarks were achieved
  • Whether benefits have vested
  • Whether fiduciary duty was breached
  • Whether severance was properly paid
  • Release of claims, particularly by employees over 40 years of age.

Our firm provides determined representation for business owners, boards of directors, and executives in disputes over employment contracts. We have a track record of success reaching effective resolutions, which means our clients can get back to business.

Contact our determined Arizona business lawyers for employment contract services in Phoenix

At the Law Offices of Donald W. Hudspeth P.C., we understand how important an employment contract is to a company’s success and to an executive’s career. To learn how our knowledgeable attorneys can help forge effective agreements, call our Phoenix firm at 866-696-2033 or contact us online today.

Donald W. Hudspeth Attorney Photo
Donald W. Hudspeth
Principal Attorney

Attorney Donald W. Hudspeth has more than twenty years’ experience practicing corporate and business law. Before attending law school, Mr. Hudspeth held a stock brokers license at the age of 21 and owned his own business at the age of 23. He was a business law professor at Arizona State University, West Campus, and has conducted classes and seminars for a number of higher institutions and organizations. Mr. Hudspeth has published two books on law and is the founder of the radio programs Law on the Edge and Law Talk.

Mark S. Hamilton Attorney Photo
Mark S. Hamilton

About Attorney Mark S. Hamilton has experience handling all aspects of civil and commercial litigation in federal, state, and tribal courts at the trial and appellate levels. Practice Areas Business litigation Commercial litigation Education University Of Hawaii Wm. S. Richardson School Of Law, Juris Doctor - 2002 University Of Hawaii, Master Of Arts in Asian…

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Our firm now offers a scholarship program for ASU first and second year law students.

The scholarship is awarded to students for academic merit with an interest in business and business law. Candidates may have majored in fields other than business, have taken a break between college and law school, or have had exceptional life experiences.

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