Gary E. Patterson, P.C. handles a variety of employment law matters. Our Houston attorneys represent both employers and employees in connection with various types of employment related issues and disputes.
Employment Contract drafting and issues. Gary E. Patterson, P.C. reviews contracts prepared by potential employees and employers seeking advise on a new hire. In doing so, we strive to advise clients on the impact of various terms of the employment contract. If appropriate, our team recommends changes advantageous to our client. Also, our team drafts contracts to meet our client's needs and actively negotiate terms directly with the other party to the agreement. Lastly, we counsel our client on the issue of terminating their agreement or developing an exit strategy to end the employee-employer relationship with the least amount of risk possible.
Noncompetition Agreements. Texas is an "at will" employee state. Meaning, an employer may terminate an employee at any time if the employer has a valid legal justification, and if the termination does not violate a contract. Often times, employees incorrectly assume they may seek the same type of employment with a competitor or start up their own business in the same market. Non-Competition agreements, if valid, may limit the employee's options significantly. Our legal team stays abreast with the Texas law relating to noncompetition clauses and agreements. The general rule is a noncompetition agreement must be reasonable as to length of time, geographical area and scope of activity. Our legal team has experience in drafting noncompetition agreements and if necessary, litigating noncompetition agreements.
Breach of Contract. As stated above, the majority of employment in the state of Texas is "at will." However, certain employees are hired under contract with specific terms for employment and causes for termination. Gary E. Patterson, P.C. has vast experience in breach of employment contract disputes on both sides. Mr. Patterson's knowledge of the law and the insight from litigating both sides makes our office uniquely well qualified to assist in any employment contract dispute. Damages that can be sought in an employment contract dispute may include: lost wages and benefits, specific performance (court orders), and emotional distress.
Releases and Agreements relating to Separation from Employment. A separation agreement or a "severance" agreement is a contract agreed to by both employer and employee. In most cases, the employee will give up his or her rights to sue the employer in exchange for some form of compensation or benefits. We advise you to contact an attorney prior to distributing or signing a separation agreement. Our team can counsel you or your business on the potential legal claims and rights, providing you with more leverage in these situations.
Executive employment agreements. Attorneys at Gary E. Patterson, P.C. understand executive employment agreements are often individualized by company and by individual. The higher the level of employee, the more intense the bargaining will be and the more individualized the contract terms will be. Our team is available for advice and counsel from the initial states down to the signature on the dotted line. Important terms our legal team focus on include: compensation and benefits, termination (for cause and the definition thereof), noncompetition, nonsolicit, intellectual property and dispute resolution.
Hiring, Discharge, and Employment discrimination. It is a violation both federal and state laws to discriminate in hiring, promoting, terminating or other aspects of employment on the basis of a person's race, gender, national origin, religion, disability, or age, or to retaliate against an individual for opposing such practices, or for consulting an attorney or the United States Equal Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or equivalent state entity. Employment discrimination and wrongful termination claims may be difficult because the employee has to prove the reason he or she was fired, not hired, not promoted, or otherwise harassed is because of his or her "protected classification." By protected classification we mean a person's gender, race, national origin, age or disability. Our firm has experience handling employment discrimination and wrongful termination cases. If you are concerned about discrimination, wrongful termination or retaliation, you need to consult with an employment lawyer.
Wage and Hour Claims
Workplace Policy Development and Employee Management Training
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