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Pennsylvania Employment Law Blog

CBS CEO severance package instructive

CBS CEO Les Moonves resigned on Sept. 9 after numerous sexual harassment allegations. Despite these serious charges, he may leave the network with a $120 million severance package. It is reported that CBS will donate $20 million of his financial settlement to organizations that support the #MeToo movement. His departure also provides important lessons about the importance of severance agreements.

Before his departure, he received a $24 million annual salary. His salary package contained a salary and bonus of $184 million. He was also entitled to stocks and a pension worth $1 million if he did not leave his position for cause.

Severance agreements may have advantages

Employees may seek financial protection in case they are terminated without cause. There are many advantages to negotiating severance agreements before or after employment is offered. Severance agreements grant compensation to employees when they are not at fault for their job loss. These situations usually include management changes or poor company performance.

What should be in a medical employment contract?

An employment agreement may be ineffective if it does not address important parts of the employment relationship. All employment contracts for medical professionals should contain basic but important terms.

First, these contracts should clearly identify the employer, so that the health care professional knows how important decisions are made. It should identify the person or group the professional reports to and whether there is a board of directors or management committee. For employees, compensation expectations are extremely important. They should understand how their compensation is calculated and whether it is fair and transparent.

Are you facing retaliation in the workplace

Oftentimes, employees dealing with an unpleasant work situation have the choice of putting up with it or finding another job. The law typically does not protect workers from an employer's rudeness, negativity or even unfairness. However, there are situations where the law does protect employees from certain types of actions.

One instance in which an employee may seek legal recourse is when an employer retaliates against him or her for speaking up about illegal violations. It can be helpful to understand the types of activities anti-retaliation laws protect, as well as conduct that can constitute retaliation.

New job decisions

The hiring process requires planning and negotiation. Before signing on the dotted line on new employment contracts, prospective employees should seek the best terms possible concerning non-compete and non-solicitation agreements and other terms.

A non-compete agreement prevents an employee from competing with their employer if they leave that company. A non-solicitation agreement is intended to prevent employees from soliciting co-workers, clients or customers from their employer. These agreements are intended to protect businesses. However, workers can face serious consequences if they resign or are fired. These provisions can restrict their ability to make a living or continue their career.

Non-compete agreements not always enforceable

Non-competition agreements prohibit employees from working for a competitor for a certain time or within a geographic area. The use of these clauses in employment contracts is on the rise for all types of employment.

Noncompete clauses, also known as restrictive covenants, are not always enforceable in Pennsylvania. First, an employer must have a valid business interest and may not enforce this restriction just to eliminate competition or gain an unfair advantage. An employee must also receive something in return for signing these agreements. Current employees may be entitled to a higher salary, cash payment, or something else that is valuable.

Anatomy of medical employment contracts

Employment agreements for physicians and other health care professionals usually have common important provisions. Successful negotiation of the major terms of employment contracts for medical professionals may be important to a doctor's financial and professional health.

Contracts should include a specific explanation of the doctor's employment obligations. These include the health care field being practiced, work hours, availability and on-call hours, outpatient care responsibilities and administrative duties.

Be aware of severance agreements

Terminating an employee is distressing for the worker and may pose legal risks for employers. Separation packages or employment contracts often contain severance agreements intended to protect employers. Workers should be prepared to negotiate a fair and reasonable resolution.

A severance agreement is usually optional unless the original employment contract required one. An employer may be sued for breach of contract if they do not honor a severance agreement that was contained in the employment contract.

Does your boss fail to accommodate your religious beliefs?

It makes no difference whether you are a member of a traditional religion or you follow a lesser known faith. Your employer cannot discriminate against you.

If your employer does not accommodate your religious beliefs, he or she may be in violation of the law.

Employment contracts may be job handcuffs

Leaving a job for a better venture is a dream come true. But, as with other experiences, a worker's past may haunt this event. Employment contracts signed years earlier may restrict getting a job with a new employer or competitor.

During the first days of employment, the new prospect may have signed an employment contract along with a pile of other documents. These contracts often contain non-competition agreements restricting work for a competitor or another employer in the industry for a certain time or geographic radius.