Employment and Executive Compensation
Our multi-disciplinary Employment and Executive Compensation Group is unique in that we advise clients on all aspects of the employment relationship, including employment law issues, executive compensation and employee benefits. Our broad and deep experience in these areas, and the pragmatic approach we use to address them, have resulted in our becoming trusted partners with our clients. Through our intimate involvement in our clients’ businesses and the long-term relationships we establish with them, we are better able to provide creative solutions that help our clients achieve their objectives and mitigate their risk. We also pride ourselves in our ability to use our staff and resources efficiently in order to help our clients control costs.
Our Employment and Executive Compensation group generally represents private or publicly held companies that are either domestic or foreign-owned, which can range in size from a few employees to thousands. On behalf of our corporate clients, we regularly assist in providing the right incentives and working environment to recruit, retain, and motivate the most talented employees, as well as addressing the more sensitive employee issues that arise from time to time. In addition, we advise compensation committees and boards on good governance practices for establishing executive compensation arrangements. We also represent executives and management teams with respect to their arrangements throughout their employment relationships, and frequently in those cases when they are involved in a potential change in control transaction.
Our Employment and Executive Compensation attorneys are routinely called upon to handle matters that include the following:
- Prepare and review of employee handbooks and related policies and procedures
- Advise on investigations of alleged improper conduct
- Advise on employee discipline, terminations and reductions in force
- Assist clients to comply with the myriad of employee-related laws (e.g., Fair Labor Standards Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, FMLA, ADA, ADEA, WARN and comparable state statutes)
- Advise on wage and hour practices and worker classification
- Negotiate employment and severance agreements
- Negotiate, enforce and defend confidentiality and noncompetition agreements
- Negotiate, mediate, arbitrate or litigate employee disputes, if they arise
In designing executive compensation arrangements, we focus on the business and policy considerations that are important to our clients, including competitive market position, protection of trade secrets, public disclosure, compliance with securities law, financial reporting, retention concerns, succession planning, tax implications (on both the company and the covered individuals), and corporate governance and shareholder-related matters.
Our attorneys are skilled in drafting and managing the following:
- Executive employment agreements
- Equity compensation and phantom stock arrangements
- Incentive compensation plans, short and long term
- Deferred compensation plans
- Tax issues related to these plans and arrangements, including sections 280G, 409A and 162(m) of the Internal Revenue Code
- Disclosure and securities issues arising in connection with executive compensation.
We regularly assist our corporate clients and management teams in the employee issues that can arise from a corporate transaction. These matters include:
- Merger, stock or asset deals
- Creation of change of control plans and agreements to appropriately incent management
- Initial public offerings
- Exchange and tender offers
Becker Glynn also advises on employee retirement and welfare benefit plan matters, including the compliance and fiduciary issues associated with these plans.