One of the most difficult aspects of any business can be a contract negotiation. It can take weeks or even months to come to an agreement. Each clause gets scrutinized and can be binding for years to come.
It’s crucial to ensure negotiations go well for business success because the terms of a contract can have long lasting and costly effects.
Keep reading to learn how a qualified attorney can help.
A qualified attorney can make a huge difference in the tone and content of a contract negotiation. The pressure is off of you because the attorney shoulders that weight.
An attorney can guide you as to what terms are more important and relevant than others. This removes the guesswork out of contract formation and helps you get to the heart of the matter to avoid wasting time and other valuable resources.
New Employee Contract Negotiation for Employers
When negotiating with a new employee it’s particularly important to focus on details. It will be the standard that all future negotiations will be based on.
As a practical matter, all aspects of employer and employee expectations should be in a written contract. It’s never a good idea to leave communications unwritten, especially because courts will likely recognize and enforce oral contracts.
You will want to include any parameters of the business relationship. Some of the most common issues covered in a contract negotiation include:
- job responsibilities and expectations
- salary and timeline for raises
- benefits, vacations, and bonuses
- non-competition and other restrictive covenants
- termination and severance
- employee evaluations, expectations, and conditions of employment
Each contract can be adapted and edited to meet company needs and industry standards and must comply with federal and state employee and labor regulations. Not keeping these factors in mind not only may result in employer-employee disputes, but sanctions from the government. This is easier said than done. The wisdom of an experienced attorney would be extremely beneficial.
Contract Negotiation for Employees
The manner in which you perform contract negotiation with one employee affects future contracts. Many companies have non-disclosure and confidentiality clauses prohibiting employees from disclosing certain information and trade secrets. A good lawyer can advise as to which of these clauses are appropriate and legal.
An experienced attorney is helpful in staying objective. They can provide insight into industry standards and best practices for similar contracts.
No Hassle and Nothing Personal
An attorney to help with contract negotiation can make the process more productive. There aren’t the emotions and investment for an attorney as there is for the parties of the contract.
Negotiations can cause tension and stress when someone doesn’t get what they ask for. An attorney is not the offending party and not emotionally invested. They can smooth over hurt emotions easier than an invested party of the contract would.
An Attorney for the Other Side
Attorneys are not just for the employer side of negotiations. Some individuals feel more confident after having legal counsel involved.
An attorney can often give an employee more clout and a stronger position. This is helpful when trying to negotiate new terms for their employment. This can be hard for someone who doesn’t feel comfortable.
Legal counsel does the legwork and research for you. They provide precedence and help get the most beneficial contract possible.
Attempting to negotiate a contract for yourself can be intimidating and overwhelming. Especially when doing it alone. An attorney to help with contract negotiations can take a great deal of the pressure off of the employee.
No Funny Business
It’s easy to miss information in the fine print. This can be harmful when you’re talking about your career future.
A clause that may be perfect for one employee might be negative for another employee.
Some individuals don’t realize the implications of each clause of their contract such as requiring employees to return sign-on bonuses should an employee leave within a certain time. Employees can lose their job or face financial consequences due to fine print.
An attorney will assess and advise on all aspects of the contract and how it will affect an employee.
Many contracts include a non-compete clause or other restrictive covenants which can have long-lasting effects even after employment has ended. Employers can affect an employee’s ability to work with other companies in the industry for years to come. This may not be a concern as you’re first signing but will be one in the future should you want to further your career or otherwise be unemployed.
Contract Negotiation is About More Than Salary
Many people focus on only the salary and benefits details and don’t worry about the rest of the contract details.
Everyone’s eager to get a new job but you need to think long term. The employer and employee should consider how the contract helps the employee reach their full potential.
Training, Education, and Advancement
These may not seem like a big deal when you’re needing that first pay check but five years down the road you still want to be happy with your job.
If you are an employee, don’t set yourself up to be stuck in a dead end job. If you are an employer, don’t set employees up to be miserable and unproductive when they settle into a position.
A properly negotiated and well thought out contract can help everyone be more successful in the long run.
Your Role Now and in the Future
Everyone can perform better if they know exactly what their role is and what is expected of them. They need to be motivated by more than just a paycheck.
Contract negotiations can play a huge part in employee satisfaction and loyalty. A detailed contract can be to the benefit of both parties.
There’s no question of what the individual’s role is if there’s a clear contract to reference. It can settle any issue if there’s any misunderstanding about that in the future.
Leave It to the Experts
Contact us today with your questions about contract negotiations:
Phone: (630) 517-5531