Whether you’re starting a business or revising policies at your established corporation, creating documents such as employment contracts, non-disclosure agreements, and company policies is a painstaking and complicated process. These documents should be specific enough to establish clear expectations, but flexible enough to change if the need arises. Here are some tips to keep in mind when drafting three types of documents necessary to the workings of your business.
An employment contract defines the relationship between the employee and the employer and outlines the duties and responsibilities of each. To create an employment contract, begin by researching examples of contracts within your industry. Then,
- Use the job description to outline and define the employee’s responsibilities
- Decide whether or not to include a non-compete clause
- Ask yourself if the contract should last for a specified time, or endure until the employee leaves
- Specify payment and benefits
- Define the termination procedure
Enlist the help of a lawyer who practices employment law to ensure your contract is appropriately worded and comprehensive. Contracts are legally binding documents, and an employment attorney has the necessary expertise to create and evaluate such documents.
If your company has confidential information or trade secrets that require protection, consider having employees sign non-disclosure agreements. These agreements should clearly identify the type of information that shouldn’t be revealed, but should use general terms that don’t reveal specific secrets. Examples of information to protect in a non-disclosure agreement include
- Customer and vendor lists
- Business strategies
- Prototypes or blueprints
- Financial information
Your employment law attorney will be able to help you define the terms of this agreement, as well as instances when confidential information might need to be disclosed.
Your business needs several policies such as a sexual harassment policy, non-discrimination policy, etc. If employees are confused on rules such as dress code, cell phone usage, or workflow, it could be helpful to create additional policies. Important things to keep in mind are
- How company policies will be enforced
- Creating policies in line with your business’ mission
- Making policies that are flexible enough to change, if need be
It’s critical to note that policies should not be changed because a few employees are exceptions to the rule. Often, individual meetings are enough to realign these employees with company policy. A lawyer who specializes in employment law will help you ensure that policies are fair and comprehensive.
Trust the Seasoned Corporate Lawyers at WHGM
Walker, Hulbert, Gray & Moore, LLP has the expertise necessary to help you establish corporate policies, contracts, and agreements. Call 478.987.1415 today to schedule a consultation.