Employees are the means by which you grow your company, but when you hire people to work for you, you open your business up to liabilities. Whether you are hiring independent contractors or employees, you need certain legal documents in place to protect your business.
Offer letters are important because they spell out the job for which an employee is being hired and the terms of that employment. Offer letters protect you against breach of contract claims, compensation disputes, and preserves the at-will employment status. We can provide an offer letter template that you can customize for each employee.
EXECUTIVE EMPLOYMENT AGREEMENTS
When you need customized employment agreements for executive roles in your company, we can draft these agreements for you. In the event a compensation dispute or breach of contract claim arises, an expertly drafted employment agreement will protect you and secure the employee’s at-will employment status.
INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR ARRANGEMENTS
If your business employs independent contractors, you can be audited by the state, and your 1099 employees may be reclassified as W2 employees. Employee reclassification makes you responsible for back taxes, employee wage withholdings, and possible penalties for not providing employee benefits.
Colorado case law specifies nine factors that are analyzed to determine the employment classifications of your employees. We can counsel you on which classification is appropriate for your business and the jobs being performed. We can make sure that your employee classifications are appropriate, and that you are maintaining those classifications to avoid reclassification.
Many small businesses will pay a departing employee a severance payment, without getting any agreement from the employee to refrain from suing the company for wrongful termination. Without a severance agreement in place, your company is vulnerable to wrongful termination claims. We can draft a severance agreement for you that will protect you from such claims.
WRONGFUL TERMINATION MITIGATION
It happens to the best of companies. You have to terminate an employee. Without documented policies on how and when to let employees go, you can be vulnerable to wrongful termination and discrimination suits. We can create written policies for your company to help you avoid these types of claims.
EMPLOYEE IP ASSIGNMENT AGREEMENTS
If your company has technology, patents or processes that you need to protect, you will need to implement intellectual property (IP) assignment agreements with your key employees. These agreements allow the company to preserve ownership of the intellectual property created by the employees during their employment.
We have a deep understanding of the types of technologies that need to be protected, and can help you make sure your employees don’t run off with your intellectual property. Contact us to discuss your employee agreement needs.
APPEALING UNEMPLOYMENT CLAIMS
Just because an employee leaves a company, doesn’t mean they are entitled to unemployment. However, if your former employee files an unemployment claim, even if they are not eligible for benefits, it can improperly raise your employer unemployment contribution rates. Knowing your true exposure in an unemployment claim can help you avoid increased contribution rates. We are experts in employment law and can help you with all manner of legal issues surrounding employees.
Your company employee handbook should cover discipline and harassment policies, drug and alcohol use, electronic device use, social media policies, anti-discrimination, FMLA, as well as safety and disaster procedures. This document is important because it protects you from liability created by these issues. If you think that your company is too small and you don’t need an employee handbook, think again. The truth is, even if you have only one employee, you need an employee handbook.
We have decades of experience as corporate counsel and can help you with any of your employment law needs. Contact us to discuss your employment law needs.
“Heath Phillips has a vast array of skill sets. From evictions to homeowners’ assessments to HOA operating agreements to collection disputes; he can execute on all of my needs and mitigate my exposure. He shows real commitment to my business and has my best interests at heart.”
Gary Clark, Co-Owner, Precision Homes of Colorado