Our employment law team has experience in drafting, interpreting and where required, challenging employment contracts for both employers and employees. We provide strategic legal advice in negotiating and developing clear and precise employment contracts and structure these contracts to record the parties’ rights, obligations and expectations.
As well as other related employment contract issues, we have an expertise in such matters as termination provisions confidentiality agreements and Non-disclosure Agreements.
Some companies and organizations prefer the use of independent contractor agreements because of their flexibility, reduction in paperwork, and financial advantages. Similarly, certain workers prefer these agreements because they can often earn more money by way of deducting their expenses and taking on multiple contracts. Importantly however, the Courts will look to the nature of the relationship to determine whether an independent contractor is just that, or an employee. The consequences can be financially onerous, resulting in the repayment of back taxes, EI and CPP contributions. Our lawyers have significant experience advising employers and employees with respect to independent contractor agreements, including when a worker challenges his or her status.
Restrictive Covenants (Non-Competition and Non-Solicitation)
Clients will often seek advice about the legality of non-competition and non-solicitation clauses (sometimes referred to as “restrictive covenants”) in their employment contracts. For someone who has recently lost their job, the idea of having to give up working in their field or face risking a law suit can present a serious dilemma.
On the other hand, employers often share key confidential information with their employees and trust them with their clients, product and know-how, so if the employment relationship is terminated, they want to put conditions in the employment contract in an attempt to bring a reasonable level of protection to their commercial interests.
We have experience drafting such clauses to ensure that they are enforceable. If an agreement is unduly restrictive, and therefore unreasonable, a court will not enforce it or, alternatively, it will remove the unreasonable parts of the agreement or clause.