Employment agreements for corporate executives can be complex. These agreements include complicated compensation structures and post-employment restrictions that could have lasting implications on your career: Forfeiture clauses; restrictive covenants; claw-backs; non-ERISA vs ERISA plans. Many of our clients, while experts in their field, recognize that the assistance of an experienced attorney is invaluable when negotiating their own executive employment agreements.
These agreements usually outline terms in effect during in employment – like compensation and benefits – but also terms for ending the employment relationship – like “for cause” termination clauses. Compensation packages can include a variety of deferred compensation plans, such as stock option plans, profit-share plan, non-qualified plans, and defined benefits / pension plans. An agreement with a “golden parachute” may also have “golden handcuffs” where you can lose important long-term benefits.
An executive employment agreement also may include a built-in severance package, where the value of the executive’s severance depends on why the executive leaves the company. Almost certainly an executive employment agreement will include terms restricting the executive’s post-employment options to compete for business, to solicit employees, and to use or disclose corporate trade secrets.
If you’re about to negotiate an executive employment agreement, don’t go in alone. Contact our experienced and tenacious lawyers to talk about negotiating the best possible agreement for you.