Ohio Employment Contract AttorneysMost employment relationships in Ohio and around the country are "hire-at-will, fire-at-will." In Ohio, that generally means that an employee can quit anytime they want, without notice, for any reason. An employee can also be fired at any time, for any reason, without advance notice. Many people have the incorrect assumption that in Ohio you need a good reason to fire an employee, which is not true. You don't need any reason, as long as it is not an illegal reason (such as discrimination, or breach of contract). An employment agreement replaces this default "hire-at-will, fire-at-will" rule in Ohio with a contractual agreement that usually includes a term of employment (usually a year or a few years that is renewable) and the payment and benefits that are provided to the employee over that term of employment. The law firm of Harris & Engler works with businesses to draft employment agreements and works with individuals to review employment agreements, advise on the implications of the agreement, and negotiate changes to the employment agreement. Evan T. Engler is a business and employment attorney and partner at Harris & Engler and he can be reached at (614) 610-9988.
What's in an Employment Agreement?Most employment agreements cover at least the following basics:
-term of employment (duration)
-grounds for termination
-trade secret protection provisions
-dispute resolution provisions
When are Employment Contracts Used?Due to the inherent disadvantage to a business in using an employment contract in the first place (removing the ability to fire-at-will) employment contracts are usually reserved for retaining highly skilled or professional employees, such as physicians, executives, attorneys, teachers, professors, and other highly skilled or highly educated professionals.
Physicians are one occupation where it is most common to be hired on with a hospital or doctors group through the use of an employment contract. Physician employment contracts can be complex and provide numerous tiers of incentives based on patient satisfaction scores and other requirements for the doctor to meet. It is important for each doctor to fully understand what obligations the employment agreement entails and to negotiate in the areas that are up for negotiation.
Otherwise, an employment contract can be used in a variety of different contexts. Employment contracts are used more than usual in the technology sector where the guarding of intellectual property is especially important. In this context, it is usual for employment contracts to contain a provision granting all intellectual property rights of the employee to the employer. This means that whatever new ideas an employee comes up with while employed, whether on the clock or off the clock, that idea becomes the intellectual property of the employer.