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Executives Employees & Other Highly Paid Workers

Legal Assistance Specific to the Unique Challenges Executives Face in the Workplace

Executive employees find themselves in a unique position in the spectrum of the American employees. Presidents, CEOs, CFOs, COOs and other members of executive leadership teams are compensated at a level far above other employees, but the nature of their jobs demands a tremendous number of work hours and unusual levels of stress in exchange for that compensation. Night and weekend hours, along with 24/7 availability, are just part of the bargain. And unfortunately, without proper foresight and preparation, including legal advice or representation, executive employees can find themselves subject to dismissal at the whim of their employer with no legal recourse. Even worse, such leaders can learn (after termination of their employment) they are nonetheless subject to restrictive non-compete agreements that limit their ability to apply their skills and experience in the labor market.

Hawks Quindel’s employment litigation team has decades of experience in advising and representing executive and other high wage earners. Our experience includes:

Pre-Employment Contract Negotiations

We help executive employees negotiate favorable contract language and provisions in critical pre-employment contract areas including:

  • Salary, bonuses and benefits
  • Parameters of “cause” provisions providing the basis for termination of employment
  • Severance benefits upon termination
  • Reasonable scope of non-compete or non-solicitations provisions

Legal Advice During Employment

Executive employees and high-level managers often face unique situations, which may arise when:

  • Discharge from employment or other discipline appears imminent
  • An employer attempts to impose new terms of employment with little or no consideration
  • An employee is considering leaving employment and wants to anticipate disputes arising upon departure

Such situations require expertise, delicacy and good timing. We provide extensive advice and judgement, based on our experience with executive employees confronting similar challenges, that can inform your situation and set you up for success during a difficult time. Simply having an attorney will often change your employer’s disposition, as they will know you have experience and strategy on your side.

Post-Employment Legal Issues

Many executive and high-level managers need advice or representation after departure because former employers:

  • Threaten suit, including claims based on alleged violations of non-compete or non-solicitation agreements
  • Fail to fulfill their promises under employment agreements
  • Disparage the departed employee to former clients or prospective employers

We can look over your employment agreements and related documents to help you understand your rights and position and strategize with you to find the smart way forward.

Our Experience Is Invaluable

Few executives have extensive experience dealing with the situations described above. Because we have helped many executives negotiate these complex waters, we are in a strong position to inform you on the strengths and risks of your position under the law and what strategic options you might consider.

Real Life Scenarios Involving Executive Clients

A sampling of Hawks Quindel’s recent advice to and representation of executive employees includes:

  • Successful negotiation of severance agreements on behalf of multiple members of an executive leadership team who were fired when the newly-hired CEO decided to “clean house” at an international manufacturing and distribution corporation.
  • Representation of an executive vice-president in a pre-employment contract negotiations agreement, resulting in a removal of provision that would have allowed the employer sole discretion to decide what constituted “cause” for termination, replacing it with one that required any claim of “cause” to be decided by a court or jury.
  • Representation of the former project manager at a national architectural firm who accepted employment in a different role (at a healthcare facility) and who was then accused of breaching a non-solicitation agreement with his former employer. Hawks Quindel’s involvement helped the employee avoid the imminent threatened lawsuit, and led to the former employer’s agreement to submit the parties’ dispute to mediation with a neutral third party.

Can We Help With Your Employment Quandaries?

Hawks Quindel’s employment team enjoys a stellar reputation for its representation of executive employees and other high wage earners in both pre- and post-employment contexts. Contact us to discuss your situation and see if we can help.