Employment matters are integral to the success and function of a business. With increasing federal and state laws, legal compliance is more difficult than ever. You need to focus your efforts on competing in the marketplace, not the nuances of endless laws and regulations.
Our years of South Carolina employment law experience can help you navigate regulations and implement the best policies for your business. Beyond compliance and policies, we will advise you on how to prevent employee disputes and avoid needless litigation.
- Employment Handbook
- Employee Policy Drafting
- Wage and Hour Compliance
- Hiring and Firing
- Drug Testing
- Discrimination Training
- Employment and Manager Training
- Employment Audits
- Contract Disputes
- Severance Agreements
- Employee Disputes
- Employment Contracts
The average employment litigation cost $88,000 (courtstatistics.com)
Take measures to avoid costly litigation by training your employees and implementing policies that are compliant with federal and state regulations.
The average cost of contract litigation is $91,000 (courtstatistics.com)
|Terms of Employment Agreements||$400||Includes one-hour consultation plus customized agreement in compliance with SC Wage Payment Act and SC At-Will Employment Provisions.|
|Employment Handbooks||$1,000 and up.||Includes three-hour consultation to review current policies. We will agree on a flat fee price between $1,000 and $2,500 based on the needs of your business.|
|Noncompete, nonsolicitation, nondisclosure agreements, Terms of Employment.||$250 per contract||Includes one-hour consultation, plus customized contract.|
|Contract drafting and review||$250/hr||Includes one-hour consultation, plus $150 per hour for time to draft or review contracts not listed above.|
|Employment Audits||$1,000 and up.||Includes review of document management systems, including wage payment systems, records keeping system, and employment documents. We will agree on a flat fee price between $1,000 and $2,500 based on the needs of your business.|
|Half-Day Training Seminars||$300||Includes a half-day training seminar with materials for presentation.|
Employment Law Services
Employment handbooks are the basis of explaining the roles and responsibilities of employees and how the business operates. An employment handbook should include the company’s history, mission, vision and goals along with company policies and human resources information. The employment handbook should be used as a reference manual for procedures related to vacation days, calling in sick, maternity leave, and other company benefits. In South Carolina, an employment handbook does create a legally binding contract when: (1) the handbook provision and procedure in question apply to the employee, (2) the handbook sets out procedures binding on the employer, and (3) the handbook does not contain a conspicuous and appropriate disclaimer. Our Charleston firm is equipped to provide your organization with a comprehensive and thorough employment handbook!
Employment Policy Drafting
Some organizations might already have solid employment handbooks but are just seeking revisions on certain policies. Our firm is equipped to revise sections of your employment handbook to match your requests. If your organization is seeking to develop new company policies, we can walk you through the policy content process and advise steps for successful implementation.. Clear, well-written employment policies are the cornerstones of companies as you should expect your employees to refer to company policy during times of uncertainty. Additionally, successfully communicating the new policies with your employees ensures a smooth transition and implementation process. Companies should provide employees with relevant background information to explain why these procedures are being implemented, and employers should incorporate open communication that will give the employees an opportunity to ask questions about the new policy.
An employment agreement is a binding contract between employers and their employees. Additionally, it can be an agreement between an employee and labor union. Employment agreements detail salary or wages, the worker’s schedule, duration of employment, and general responsibilities of the employee. While employee agreements can be implied from promises from interviews, an employee agreement solidifies one’s employment and prevents firing of an employee unexpectedly. South Carolina is deemed an “at-will employment state” which means that an employer may fire or an employee may quit their job without notice or reason. To avoid this unexpected situation, an employee contract can prevent the uncertainty of working at-will.
A noncompete agreement is a contract between a business employee that mandates the employee will not enter into similar employment during or after with competitors. Noncompete agreements are also referred to as covenants not to compete. Noncompete agreements are based on the basic principle of respect, but they are narrowly construed and generally disfavored by the law to promote economic competition in communities. In South Carolina, in order to have a valid and enforceable noncompete agreement, it must satisfy the following five-prong test: 1) necessary for the protection of the legitimate interest of the employer; (2) reasonably limited in its operation with respect to time and place; (3) not unduly harsh and oppressive in curtailing the legitimate efforts of the employee to earn a livelihood; (4) reasonable from the standpoint of sound public policy; and (5) supported by valuable consideration. Because of the high burden to meet to enforce a noncompete agreement, it is highly advised to retain an attorney to guarantee your noncompete procedurally sound is in compliance with state laws.
Nondisclosure agreements, typically referred to as NDAs, are agreements between two or more parties to agree to keep secret certain information. Nondisclosure agreements are used in the corporate world to ensure contractors and potential investors do not divulge company secrets after being on the work site or being introduced to sensitive company information. NDAs outline confidential information that is off limits to be shared. Most NDAs should include a time period of how long one or more parties must keep information secret. In South Carolina, the law typically will enforce a nondislcosure agreement unless it impedes on economic freedom and seeks to limit competition in a community.
Nonsolicitation agreements are similar to noncompete agreements in the fact they limit former employees from soliciting to the company’s clients directly. Essentially, nonsolicitation agreements keep former employees from stealing customers from under their former employer. Nonsolicitation agreements should address confidential information that is to not be shared in future employment; this normally includes client lists and certain business secrets. Non Solicitation agreements are normally agreements between companies and contractors or between contractors and subcontractors.
Terms of Employment
Terms of employment is an employment agreement that explains the responsibilities and benefits of a job. Terms of employment should explain work hours, wages/salary, vacation and sick days, and other associated benefits of employment. While you might have a valid verbal contract with an employee, it is highly recommended to have an expressed agreement between the employer and employee. Typically, terms of employment require notice and/or reason for termination of employment, and “a person hired under an employment contract for a definite term may not be discharged before the completion of the term without just cause.”
Without an expressed employment contract, an employee might considered themselves an employee at-will, which allows them to quit without notice or reason, thus leaving your business rushing to re-hire. Terms of employment streamline the hiring process, clearly set expectations, and provide stability for your business.
Wage and Hour Compliance
Employers have an obligation to pay employees according to the terms of their employment. When employers withhold money, they could face stiff recourse. South Carolina has strict rules governing wage and hour compliance. Call us to review your options. If you are a business owner, let us help you devise a plan to make sure you never run afoul of statutory regulations.
Hiring and Firing
Hiring good employees and firing bad ones can be tricky. South Carolina generally is an at will employment state, meaning an employer can fire an employee for any reason – except an illegal reason. There are certain protected class. Employers and employees should understand the rules and regulations governing hiring and firing. With the right strategy and information, employers are better able to respect their employees while protecting the business.
In order to form a more inclusive and welcoming place of business, discrimination training is key. Your company should have clear policies regarding discrimination reporting pathways and training opportunities for new employees. These policies should be reflected in your employee handbook and should be stressed throughout the hiring process. If you are a business owner in need of assistance developing your discrimination training program, please call us to review your options.
Employment and Manager Training
Want to know the secret to a successful small business? Strong leadership and management. In order to be a successful manager, there are certain laws and regulations that you should be aware of– the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Family Medical Leave Act, and the Occupational Health and Safety Act, just to name a few. Managers and employees are responsible for knowing local, state, and federal laws and making sure your business is complying appropriately. Without a legal guide, you might be missing all the regulations your company should be following. Call us today to discuss how we can help you fill in the gaps, and keep your company operating business as usual.
If you are a business without a human resources department, let the lawyers at Henderson & Henderson provide the support you need. Employee issues, files, hiring, firing, and maintaining compliance with federal and state laws all require specific information to ensure your company remains compliant. We provide plans to perform a comprehensive review of your company’s hiring and firing procedures, employee files, and regulatory guidelines to make sure you understand what you need to know.
Unfortunately, there might come a time when your business is down-sizing, and you are forced with the decision to lay off employees. In the case of this event, a severance agreement is a good remedy to part amicably with former employees. A severance agreement is a legal document that ensures that an employee was not wrongfully let go. It also can include severance pay and certain benefits, but the primary purpose of a severance agreement is to guarantee that the former employee does not file a wrongful termination lawsuit against the employer. Nobody wants to get laid off, but a severance agreement can be a way to care for your employees and ease tensions while your business adjusts to a new size or operation.
Even within the most well-oiled businesses, disagreements between employers and employees will appear. Whether your business is faced with wrongful termination allegations, wage disputes, or harassment claims, our lawyers at Henderson & Henderson are prepared to navigate the situation with your business’s best interest in mind. While your business can take preventative measures to these types of claims, there will come a day where you will most likely be found to be the target of litigation. In this case, do not retaliate. Contact our office for guidance and to review your options.