Employment Contracts Protect the Promises

by Kate Knable  on Monday, Oct. 15, 2012 12:00 am  

Cameron Smith, of Rogers recruiter Cameron Smith & Associates, says "the best definition of an employment contract is it protects the promises made during the courtship and offer stages." (Photo by Kat Wilson)

Contracts also detail morality clauses and circumstances permitting termination with cause. They also can include an arbitration agreement or specify who pays for attorney’s fees to enforce the contract, McClure said.

Companies outline gradual stock vesting plans and bonuses to reward successes, but can also opt not to renew employee contracts, McClure said.

“Most of them are in favor of the candidate, but the companies, they want results,” Smith, the recruiter, said.

Contracts often include noncompete agreements to protect the company from having an employee run off with intellectual property or the company’s clients, Smith said.

In TV, noncompete agreements prevent news personalities from switching stations in the same market and taking viewers with them.

“They become part of your television station, and if you didn’t have an agreement, they could go to your competition and immediately be on air,” said Mark Rose, general manager of KATV-TV, Channel 7, in Little Rock.

Further, contracts detail “remedies for a breach,” said Randy Wright, labor education specialist at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Remedies can include employees losing unvested stocks and bonuses.

“You know this,” Wright said. “It weighs on you when you make the decision to breach the contract. Otherwise, there’s no incentive not to break it.” 



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