Executives encounter a unique set of employment-related legal issues. On the one hand, they are employees, entitled to protection of many employment laws. On the other hand, they are C-level employees and decision-makers, accountable for the organization’s profits, legal compliance, culture / work environment, and success. Executives often find their best protection in their strong relationships and well-drafted employment contracts and/or pre-negotiated severance package contracts. In making the bold business moves and changes needed for the business environment, executives often find themselves on the receiving end of intra-company political dynamics, business rivalries, and a board of directors with a different direction in mind. The employer-entity typically has its own established legal counsel (often one that has frequent contact with the executive or was even selected by the executive) whose job it is to protect the employer-entity. Therefore, the executive often needs his or her own legal-strategic advice from a skilled employment lawyer to assist in navigating the employment contract and employment-related legal issues that arise as the executive is busy doing his or her job.
Executives also have specialized compensation agreements, compensation plans/bonuses, golden parachute agreements, top hat plans, deferred compensation agreements, and other executive-level benefits. These agreements and plans may have language that leaves the executive employee vulnerable despite his or her best efforts at work. Understanding the vulnerabilities and potential pitfalls of such agreements can assist the executive in negotiating or re-negotiating a stronger position at an opportune time.
Sigman & Sigman, P.A. advises and represents executives in their employment related matters.