Contracts & Practices
Workplace Contracts and Practices
At Berke-Weiss Law PLLC, we represent employers and employees in matters related to severance packages. While these matters often can be resolved by parties independently, seeking representation regarding severance packages can help protect your rights and interests. We negotiate, draft, review and litigate severance agreements. Each one is unique, and we tailor the representation we provide to those unique needs.
Severance agreements may be needed as a result of a company re-organization, a simple parting of ways between employer and employee, or a hostile work environment. When we handle a matter related to a severance agreement, we assess our clients needs and interests, to protect them in negotiations of an agreement. We also look at events that may have occurred during the employment relationship, which may affect termination of the relationship between the parties. These include matters such as sexual harassment or discrimination, which may lead to litigation. Frequently, we can negotiate an agreement to a client’s financial advantage based on events that have occurred during employment.
Berke-Weiss Law PLLC structures severance packages to protect established goodwill, while recognizing the possibility of litigation arising from events like discrimination and harassment that may have led to termination. Many different matters can be incorporated into a severance agreement, including compensation for the former employee as well as protections for the employer, such as non-disclosure or non-disparagement agreements. Understanding all of the client's interests is critical since both employers and employees have a great deal to protect.
The most effective time to negotiate your employment contract is before you start a new job. We negotiate on behalf of executives from all fields to ensure that their contracts and compensation packages are fair and well-structured. We also advise on other terms of their employment contract, including restrictive covenants and non-compete agreements, which may have financial value to the client later.
Our attorneys have advised clients from a variety of industries, including financial services, healthcare, law, accounting, manufacturing, education and nonprofit organizations, and are familiar with the terms often found in executive compensation packages, such as base salary, short-term incentives (bonuses), long-term incentive compensation, employee benefits, including health insurance, and severance arrangements.
While we endeavor to negotiate, we are also experienced in handling claims concerning compensation agreements in both court and arbitration forums.
EMPLOYMENT POLICIES & PROCEDURES
We often work with employers who want to do the right thing, but don't know how. The lawyers at Berke-Weiss Law PLLC work closely with Human Resources Departments, or employers that are too small to have Human Resources Departments, to remain in compliance with the myriad of statutes governing the employment relationship. We have prepared numerous employee handbooks and employment policies on various subjects, including harassment prevention, social media, reasonable accommodation provisions for disabled employees, and employee time-keeping administration. We advise our clients to ensure that employees are properly classified and paid, avoiding future liability.
Our lawyers advise clients on the need to implement workplace policies, effectively communicate those policies to employees, and keep them updated on new developments in New York and federal law. When employers contact us for assistance with specific employees, we are attuned to other ways the issue may arise throughout their workforce to help identify areas where policies need to be updated or added. The Firm’s lawyers provide training to both management and employees in this regard, and have experience counseling on topics including sexual harassment prevention and retaliation avoidance.
Berke-Weiss Law PLLC also conducts workplace investigations when employees claim that policies have not been followed.