Your Trusted And Trial-Tested Team

3 key issues to address in worker contracts and handbooks

On Behalf of | Apr 24, 2024 | Business Law

Businesses of all sizes and purposes need staffing. Companies hire new workers to fill vacancies or address previously unmet needs. Each new employee can improve the productivity and efficiency of an organization. They could also create quite a bit of liability. One worker might racially harass a coworker. They could make mistakes when manufacturing products or performing client services that lead to lawsuits. They might also try to sue the company over unmet expectations or what they view as an unfair termination.

Businesses can mitigate much of the risk that comes with onboarding new talent by carefully negotiating employment contracts. Worker handbooks can further outline company policies and expectations. The issues below typically require careful consideration whenever hiring a new worker.

Social media activity

Social media has gone from a fringe pastime to a part of daily life. Many people are on multiple different social media platforms. They share information about themselves and their jobs without considering the consequences. Employers often need to have thorough social media policies in their employment contracts. The terms of that agreement can prohibit people from reporting who their employer is online, sharing details about their job or defaming the company by making negative statements.

Standards for pay and performance

The expectations that companies have for workers and vice versa are crucial to a healthy and productive relationship. Workers need to know what the company expects them to do and what performance metrics the organization intends to use to gauge their work. They also need to know what compensation and benefits they might receive, including incentive pay and severance pay. Having clear rules for discipline, performance reviews and worker conduct can help companies take necessary disciplinary action or terminate workers with reduced risk of litigation afterward.

The possibility of unfair competition

In Texas, the civil courts do uphold restrictive covenants included in employment contracts. Businesses can limit the conduct of workers both during and after their time employed at the company to prevent unfair competition. Non-disclosure agreements can prevent workers from sharing non-public information. Non-compete agreements prevent them from taking a job with a direct competitor or starting a competing business. Non-solicitation agreements can prevent someone from trying to convince clients to move to a new business after the employee leaves their job.

Including specific employment contract provisions may help organizations reduce the risk involved in acquiring talent. As such, the right contract inclusions and handbook terms can lead to more functional employment relationships.