The area of employment law is extensive and contains a wide variety of complicated legal issues for both employers and employees. Issues that interfere with your livelihood can be particularly stressful to deal with—and time sensitive. No matter if you are an employee or employer, having a dedicated employment attorney to handle all types of legal matters on your behalf can make all the difference in navigating this complex field. Contact us today to request a consultation.
Employment Law Practice Areas
Beth Santilli Law can aid you in many employment law issues, including but not limited to:
Too many employees sign an employment agreement without even reading it, because they think they must either take it or leave it. This is not true at all. Within an employment agreement there is plenty of room for negotiation—but once it is signed, it is typically legally binding. When reviewing these agreements an employment attorney can help ensure:
– Responsibilities are well defined
– Performance expectations are specific and quantifiable
– Signing bonuses, salary, performance bonus structures, and equity options are fair and equal to the work being done
– Review of non-compete agreements
– Review of confidentiality agreements
Our attorneys can also negotiate other items outlined within an employment agreement, like salaries, bonuses, and expense provisions. If you are an employer looking to create employment agreements, these same issues can be drafted into documents that you can use for your new hires.
Non-compete agreements and restrictive covenant agreements are two terms often used interchangeably to refer to a contract between an employee and employer. These contracts state that an employee will refrain from working for competitors or starting their own business that would compete with the employer after leaving the company. Usually, non-compete and restrictive covenant agreements are only for a certain period of time and within a certain geographic location.
Many people believe that non-compete agreements within South Carolina are worthless because it is a right to work state—but this is a misconception. While it is true that the state has right to work laws, those only deal with an employee’s right to work regardless of whether or not they are in a union. They have little to do with non-compete clauses and contracts.
In fact, South Carolina law enforces non-compete agreements as long as they meet the legal requirements as established by the courts. If you are an employer looking to draft a non-compete agreement or an employee who requires that a non-compete to be reviewed, Beth Santilli Law can assist you. We have routinely represented the rights of both employers and employees in court to determine if a non-compete agreement is enforceable by its terms.
Tortious interference with contractual relations occurs when a third party willfully causes one party of a contract to breach their obligations outlined within the contract. This can be done through influence, duress, or by purposefully disrupting the contracted party’s ability to carry out their obligations. The purpose of tortious interference laws within South Carolina is to allow contracted parties to meet their obligations without the interference of another party.
Due to the fact that the third party is not included in the contract and that they typically interfere for their own financial gain, this area falls under tort law rather than employment law. As such, individuals that are wronged by tortious interference can seek civil damages in tort law. If you are suffering with those who are attempting to interfere with your contracts, call us today.
A breach of confidentiality occurs when one person discloses information that they have agreed to keep confidential or private. These agreements are typically drafted by employers that do not want certain information to become public knowledge. Confidentiality agreements may be separate documents an employee is asked to sign, or they can be included as a provision in employment agreements.
Breach of confidentiality can include sharing information in a written document (such as a newspaper or online), verbally telling another person confidential information, showing another person a product not intended to be seen by the public, or telling others of processes, instructions for production, etc. If someone has breached a confidence, contact us to determine if you have a cause of action against that individual.
A trade secret is any process or practice that is vital to the economic success of a business and that is generally not known by the general public. Trade secrets are often a product of the company’s or employer’s own internal research and development. They can include formulas, processes, client and prospect lists, techniques, compilations, and more.
In order for these trade secrets to remain protected, employers should draft confidentiality agreements that specifically state those items that employees are prohibited from revealing to the general public. Employers should also take certain measures to ensure the trade secrets remain confidential, such as only telling employees who must know about them in order to perform their job. If your trade secrets are in jeopardy to exposure to the public or competitors, we are ready to take the necessary steps to safeguard your property.
Employers in our state have many freedoms in their hiring and firing practice, because South Carolina is considered an at-will employment state. This means employers can hire employees any time they wish, and they can also fire employees at any time and for any reason. However, there are certain circumstances where employers cannot fire employees.
Employers cannot fire employees:
– For discriminatory reasons
– When the termination involves a breach of contract, for retaliatory reasons
– Or because an employer is trying to avoid paying compensation, such as a bonus, that the employee would otherwise receive
When a wrongful termination occurs, the process for dispute can be complex. For example, when an employee is terminated for discriminatory reasons, they must first file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). An employment attorney can help you understand the process you must undergo when filing for wrongful termination.
When presented with a severance workout or severance agreement, many employees do not understand what their employer is asking them to sign. A severance package is an agreement that outlines the pay and benefits employees are entitled to if they are asked to leave the company against their will. Neither federal law nor South Carolina law requires employers to offer severance packages to their workers, although they are often provided as an incentive when recruiting desirable employees, such as executives. If you are employer and need help with drafting a severance agreement or an employee who is being asked to sign a severance agreement, our lawyers can help with drafting, review and negotiation.
Get Legal Help Today
There are many legal issues that can arise in an employment setting. At Beth Santilli Law, LLC, we understand employment law in South Carolina and are dedicated to upholding your rights no matter the issue you are facing. Contact us to arrange a consultation with our experienced employment attorney in Mt. Pleasant, SC today.