Theodore R. Feddeler, Esq.
Well-Drafted Employment Agreements and their Importance
I see it all too often - An employee that has been deeply involved at every level of a growing business unexpectedly and inexplicably decides to leave their employment with that business. All too conveniently, that same employee then opens up his or her own shop doing the same commercial activity in the same exact geographical area as that very same business.
What comes with a key employee's departure may not only be the loss of a "key man" in your operation. Businesses may and in fact do lose significant revenue and potentially even clientele with the departure of their key employees. What needs to be recognized is that a key employee does not necessarily take physical assets from a business upon departure; Instead, what they do take with them as they go is the experience and expertise that YOU as a business owner cultivated within them for years. They take the loyalty of the customer base that you've invested years in building. They take a part of YOUR business that may, quite frankly, be vital to its survival.
It's important for business owners to address the very real possibility that their A1 men and women today may very well be their fiercest competitors tomorrow. Business owners in Indiana can protect their interests through the use of well-drafted employment agreements. While Indiana is an employment at-will state, employers may still contractually provide key employees with guaranteed periods of employment in exchange for certain non-disclosure and non-compete arrangements. Such arrangements become more and more important as your key employees learn the ins and outs of what makes your business YOUR business. As a business owner, you must protect what's yours.