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August 2015 Archives

Employment law plan as part of business plan

So you have decided to go into business. You have investors, enthusiasm, and of course, the business plan. Sure there's probably a lot of things you're forgetting about, but with the team you have created on your side, what could possibly go wrong? Well, quite a bit actually.

Many times, entrepreneurs have the misguided notion that demand is the only real thing needed to make a go of it. When in actuality, sometime during the planning process, they realize a business is only as successful as its preparation is well planned. Every aspect, every facet of a successful business begins with an all-encompassing business plan. A business plan is the basic groundwork for your venture. It outlines all the key aspects of your mission, operation and goals. The operation portion of your business plan should include how you plan to manage employees and enforce employment laws. It is for this reason that the counsel of an employment law attorney should be sought prior to start up.

Showing interested parties that you are prepared for everything is key to gaining the trust of investors. As part of your employment strategy, a well-versed business law attorney can help include aspects of business management and employment law that you may have overlooked when devising your business plan. Key ingredients such as employee contracts, wage compliance and human resource management are necessary when operating a business.

When considering the startup needed for a new business, the advice and planning of an employment law attorney should be considered. With their help, you can guarantee investors that all aspects of the organization structure and management portion of your business plan have been covered. Knowing your role and rights as an employer will only help your business.

Can I have my employees sign a noncompete at any point?

The simplest answer is yes. Yes, you can ask that your employee sign a noncompete agreement at any point prior to or during their employment. However, in order for your noncompete agreement to hold up in the court system you should pay particular attention to the details while creating it.

A noncompete agreement is essentially a promise made by your employee, that upon the dissolution of your employer-employee relationship, he or she will not disclose previous employer information to a future, competing employer. Contrary to previous belief, a noncompete agreement cannot be used to limit an individual's ability to earn a living. They are used as a way to protect a business's goodwill and trade secrets.

If and when a noncompete is challenged in court there are several aspects of the agreement that are looked over when testing its validity. These things, such as the reason for its use, and scope of time it is in place, must be considered reasonable and key to the protection of the business. In reference to when an employer can request a noncompete, the idea of consideration must be present at the time it was signed. In this sense consideration is something given to the employee in return for the promise made in the agreement. If a noncompete was requested prior to the individual's employment, the court will assume the individual agreed to the noncompete in exchange for the job. If a noncompete is requested after employment there must be something else offered to the employee in exchange for the agreement, whether a promotion or raise, a noncompete must always be supported by this consideration.

A noncompete agreement can be a valuable resource to employers. However, if not created properly its validity may come into question. An employment law attorney may be able to help create a bulletproof noncompete that will keep your business's best interests safe.

How can an employment law attorney help your business?

If you've owned a business for any length of time, you know the truth: the reality of running a business in the real world is much different from what you probably pictured. Yes, there are triumphant moments that remind you why you wanted to start a business in the first place, but there are moments where you end up mired in the day-to-day trivialities that get in the way of the really satisfying parts of the business.

It's for this reason that many business owners turn to employment law attorneys. Employment law attorneys specialize in taking those tedious and complicated tasks off your hands, letting you get back to what you love doing the most.

Attorneys can help employers with crafting employee handbooks and policies that help the company comply with regulations. They can give counsel and defend you if you are accused of discrimination or harassment. They can draft and negotiate employee contracts that will protect your interests. They can help you work through issues of workers' compensation and unemployment compensation. They can even make sure your employees' benefits and wages are taken care of according to the law. In fact, employment lawyers handle all of these compensation nuances:

  • Pay for independent contractors.
  • Paying salary for traveling employees.
  • Dealing with past due unpaid overtime.
  • Minimum wage compliance.
  • Tracking timesheets and work done off the clock.
  • Figuring lunches and work breaks.

At Kisner Law Firm, we have years of experience helping Pennsylvania business owners with everything they need to make their business a success, from defending accusations to giving guidance where needed. To find out more about how we can help you, visit our Employment Law page.

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Pittsburgh, PA 15219
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