“I hired Mark to review an employment contract. He was personable, efficient, and effective in accomplishing the work. Mark was very responsive to calls and e-mails, even during the weekend. I was extremely satisfied with the results and the advice he provided to me. If I have any future employment law needs, Mark will be my first phone call."
~ P. Klemm
Employment law governs the rights and duties between employers and workers. Employment laws are based on federal and state constitutions, legislation, administrative rules, and court opinions. A particular employment relationship may also be governed by contract. Many of the employment disputes that result in litigation deal with “wage and hour” violations. Wage and hour laws also regulate overtime pay.
In nearly every state, the law presumes that employment relationships are at will. That is to say, employers and employees are free to terminate the relationship at any time and for any reason. This presumption can be overcome by showing the parties entered into an employment contract or made other promises regarding when and how the relationship would end. Courts will also ignore the at will presumption when one of several exceptions applies.
As mentioned, employers and workers may enter into employment contracts. Such contracts can describe the length of employment, compensation, disciplinary procedures, reasons for termination, and so forth. Often these agreements are embodied in the employee handbook. As long as the contract is otherwise legal, it will be enforced in lieu of the at will doctrine. In cases involving an employment contract, courts are often called upon to interpret the meaning of specific clauses. Promises not to compete are one example. These clauses prevent former employees from engaging in the same trade in the same market or geographical area. Restrictions against disclosing trade secrets are another example. Employment attorneys routinely litigate these types of issues. Mr. Risner has extensive experience litigating these types of employment disputes.