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Employment Contracts and Restrictive Covenants: Federal

Employment Contracts and Restrictive Covenants requirements by state

Author: Beth C. Rogers, Law Offices of Beth C. Rogers, LLC


  • A common exception to the employment at-will relationship is written employment contracts that govern the terms of the employment relationship, including termination provisions. See Employment Relationship.
  • An employment contract sets out the duties of the employee and employer, and provides the employer with the opportunity to clarify the relationship. See Written Employment Contracts.
  • An executive employment agreement can help ensure that an executive will stay for a specified length of time, to the extent legally permissible by law. See Executive Employment Agreements.
  • As part of an employment contract, an employer may include a bonus or incentive award provision. See Bonus and Incentive Award Agreements.
  • To be enforceable, a restrictive covenant must be designed to protect legitimate business interests and to extend no further than is reasonably necessary to protect those interests. See Restrictive Covenants.
  • No-poaching agreements allow employers to protect their key employees from being persuaded to work for other employers, especially competitors; however these agreements have been the subject of criminal sanctions. See No-Poaching Agreements.
  • An invention assignment agreement is a tool used by an employer to notify employees that the employer, and not the employee, retains ownership of any and all inventions created by the employee while they are employed with the company. See Invention Assignment Agreements.
  • Agreements with temporary workers should specifically provide the terms and conditions that govern the relationship, and also include clauses for duties, termination, compensation, company policies and procedures. See Temporary Worker Agreements.
  • Employers should consider including alternative dispute resolution provisions, as a way to promptly and effectively resolve workplace disputes without extensive and expensive litigation. See Mediation and Arbitration Agreements.
  • A separation agreement with a severance provision is a contract between an employer and a departing employee, usually providing some form of compensation to the departing employee in exchange for signing a release or waiver of legal claims. See Separation Agreements.