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Employment Contracts

While Pennsylvania adheres to the At-Will Employment Doctrine, which provides that employees can be discharged for a good reason, a bad reason, or no reason at all, many employers knowingly or unknowingly enter into employment contracts with employees. It is common for employers to maintain employment contracts with key executive employees who want to have an agreement covering the terms and conditions of their employment with the employer. Often employment agreements have detailed provisions relating to compensation and benefits.  Employment contracts with Executives also typically include provisions that regulate the employer's ability to discharge the employee and/or provide consequences for separating an employee from employment.

Our Labor and Employment Group attorneys work with our clients to plan, draft, and implement employment agreements to address a variety of wage, benefit, and other issues. The drafting of employment contracts, particularly those that include non-compete, non-solicitation, and non-hiring provisions, need to be very carefully drafted so as to maximize the extent to which such agreements are enforceable.  Our attorneys apply their experience to drafting and enforcing these agreements to provide the maximum amount of protection for our clients.  We have attorneys in our Labor and Employment Group that litigate claims arising from employment agreements including the enforcement of covenants not to compete and the protection of trade secrets.

Our Labor and Employment Group attorneys also provide advice on how to avoid unintentionally entering into an employment agreement with an employee. Employees frequently believe and argue that various employer policies including employee handbooks, policies, procedures, institutional policy manuals, and other documents form an employment contract which restricts the employer's ability to separate an employee from employment.  Our attorneys help review these handbooks, policies, procedures, and practices to minimize such claims. Such services include review of employee handbooks, offer letters, and other documents that might be relied upon to argue that an implied contract exists.