Hiring Your First Employees
August 2, 2012 | By Vela Wood
It’s time to grow and bring in those valuable first employees who are going to enable your success as a small business. Maybe you need someone with marketing experience to help drive business, or maybe you need a salesperson, or a bookkeeper; whatever the desired role is, you should determine if you want to have your new people sign an employment agreement BEFORE even extending that first offer for the job.
We at VW have blogged previously on the topic of what key provisions need to be included in your employment agreement, so today let’s focus on additional points to ponder.
1) “At-Will”: Recognize that Texas is an “At-Will” employment state, which means that either employer or employee can break the employment relationship without liability. Be mindful in your employment agreement that if you designate a term of employment within it, you may have liability as the employer in the event you terminate the employee before the end of the contract term.
2) Changing the employee’s responsibilities: “Michael the marketer” is a great employee, but now you want him to take on the additional responsibility of bookkeeping. Recognize that if you have an existing employment agreement, you may need to renegotiate the provisions of the employment contract to include the new responsibilities.
3) Reference other documents: If you are going to include other employment-related documents for the employee to sign (offer letter, employee handbook, non-solicitation agreement, etc.) make sure that they are all referenced in your employment agreement.
Employment contracts are in the best interests of you, your business, and your employees. By making sure you have consulted with an attorney first to draft ‘em, you can keep your working environment harmonious.