Employment Law

We advise companies on hiring, terminations, and everything in between. 

The Employee Handbook is the backbone of your company. Do not settle for a boilerplate handbook provided by a non-attorney payroll provider. 

Donaldson Legal Counseling PLLC provides handbooks tailored to your company’s specific needs. Our attorneys sit down with you to determine exactly how your business operates. Then we review options for specific policies and discuss reasons why or why not to implement certain policies. We draft your handbook and assist you with revisions and implementation. 

Employee Handbooks address policies related to:

  • Background checks
  • Work Eligibility
  • Termination
  • Health Benefits
  • Sick and Vacation Leave and New York Safe and Sick Time Act
  • Family Medical Leave Act and New York Paid Family Leave
  • Commuter Benefits
  • Anti-Harassment Policies
  • Work attire
  • Data Policies
  • Social Media Policies
  • Intellectual Property
  • Work from Home policies
  • Device Policies
  • Password Policies
  • Key Holder Policies
  • Company vehicle Policies
  • And More!

Ready to hire? The Employee Offer letter is the recommended method for extending a job offer for “at will” employment. “At will” employment means that the employee and employer may each terminate the relationship at any time without owing damages to the other.

The Employee Offer Letter is so much more than a mere letter offering a job. We will help you craft your employee offer letter to protect you as well as to make an offer.

What is in the Employee Offer letter can be just as important as what is not in the Employee Offer letter.Also, specific clauses in the Employee Offer Letter can help to protect you in the future from specific employee lawsuits.

We also offer all of the required Disclosures that you as an Employer are required to provide to your Employees upon hire. Acknowledgement by your employees of receipt of all disclosures is key. This acknowledgement is gold in your hands, and will protect you from employee lawsuits claiming failure to disclose.

An employment contract is an offer for employment where the employee is not “at will.” That is, this is an actual contract where the Employer agrees to employ an Employee for a specific period of time, and an Employee agrees to be employed for a specific period of time.

The Employment contract is a legally binding contract that restrains both the Employer and the Employee. It can be used by any employer but is more often utilized for executive positions where such executives do not want to be able to lose their job on the whim of the employer.

So much can change in one year! And when it comes to Employment Law this could not be more true. The fact of the matter is, if you do not annually update your employment documentation, likely your documentation is no longer completely accurate.

Why does it matter? Lawsuits. The basis of many Employer lawsuits can be traced to the Employer failing to keep up with changing State or City policies, disclosures, training or other requirements. Also, annual disclosures to Employees may be required if minimum wage increases, or salaries change, for example.

Give your business a gift, and get an annual employment audit.

Sexual Harassment Training is an annual training required as of 2019.  All employees of any employer in New York State, no matter the size of the employer, are required to take this training. Anyone receiving a W2 is required to take this training. This includes owners of corporations who work for their corporations as an employee.

We offer both employee level and manager/owner level training. – Sign Up for our Online Sexual Harassment Course

Ready to let them go? Often offering a Severance Package is the way to go. A severance agreement is just as important to the employer as the employee because the severance agreement generally requires the employee to waive the right to raise any legal issues it may have had with the company. We offer advising on severance offers, as well as drafting of severance agreements.

Whether you are bringing them on or letting them go, don’t go it alone! There are a lot of legal requirements related to both hiring and firing. Failing to abide by such can leave you facing fines, penalties, and employee lawsuits.

There are ways to minimize your risk in both hiring and separating from employees. Let Donaldson Legal Counseling PLLC be your guide to navigating these processes.

Let us draft and review your contracts:

Independent Contractor Agreements

If someone is performing work for your company and you did not hire them as an employee, they are working as a “contractor.” If you are working with a contractor, you need a written agreement between your Company and the Contractor. In New York, it’s the law. In other states, it’s just the best course of action. In Independent Contractor Agreements, you set the rules between the client and the service provider. This includes the work to be performed, when it will be performed, where it will be performed, and at what rate. Specific clauses such as indemnification, non-solicitation, non-compete, and others can be included.

Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDA)

A Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) is an agreement that you should have a party sign before sharing proprietary or confidential information. This can include sharing an idea or business plan with investors or other business associates. Generally, an NDA is signed when one party does not want to share information with another party unless they are sure the information cannot be stolen or misappropriated.

Services Agreements

When one company provides services to another, a services agreement is suggested. This agreement sets the terms between the company providing services and the client. In Services Agreements, you set the rules between the client and the service provider. This includes the work to be performed, when it will be performed, where it will be performed, and at what rate. Specific clauses such as indemnification, non-solicitation, non-compete, and others can be included.

Licensing Agreements

Licensing Agreements govern the use of one Company’s intellectual property by another. A company can license the right to use another Company’s patent, trademark, or copyrighted materials. The terms of the license are negotiable and are set based on the desires of the parties.

Website Services Agreement

The Services Agreement governs how others provide services through your website. This Agreement includes indemnification provisions to protect you from third-party liability, sets the rules for how persons interact through you site, governs payment processes for giving and receiving funds, and provides for remedies upon breach.