Unread 08-03-2009, 05:55 AM
teaguer360 teaguer360 is offline
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Default Employment Agreement/Contract Law

Our IT Manager has notified her supervisor (also a long time personal friend) that she has applied for another job. I assume she told her this as a friend, but also knows that her manager would share this information with HR and the CEO as this puts us in a bad spot - we have planned several upgrades and new systems being installed between now and the end of the year. If this manager takes employment elsewhere, we would most likely have to contract with someone at a high price to finish the projects that are already started.

If she is offered the other job, we would like to make her a counter-offer (which would put her salary completely out of sinc w/others at her level and responsibility) and have her sign an employment agreement/contract which would give specific timeline of employment and salary expecations - we're looking at employment for only one year as that would give us time to finish projects and possibly outsource the dept going forward. Our state is an at will state, so not sure if having her sign an employment agreement would do us any good - the only recourse I could see us having if she were to sign the agreement and still leave our employment before the terms of the agreement were up would be possibly breach of contract.

I have contacted the SHRM helpline, they advise speaking w/an employment attorney for firm guidance.

Your thoughts? Similar expereriences that you can share? Thanks!
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Unread 08-04-2009, 10:57 AM
davids davids is offline
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Instead of increasing her salary significantly, you might construct the agreement to include a smaller increase plus a hefty bonus at the completion of the project. However, include a provision that she forfeits the bonus if she leaves before the project is complete or a certain date. Or, you could pay her the bonus upfront with a provision that she has to pay it back if she leaves before the agreed upon time.
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Unread 08-05-2009, 04:04 AM
Sharon McKnight SPHR Sharon McKnight SPHR is offline
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One of the things about this situation that is interesting to me is that she told her supervisor she's interviewing at another company. Most people don't do that unless they are such good friends with their supervisor they know he/she won't get mad and retaliate in some way or they're jockeying for a raise. I agree with DavidS. Offering her a significantly larger salary won't guarantee she'll stay there long enough to complete project. I'd make the bonus payout at the completion of the project.

To me, however, the real question is, why is she looking? What's prompted her to seek other employment. After the project bonus issue is settled, you might want to have a conversation with her that starts out with:

"We value your contributions to the company and don't want to lose you. I'm concerned, however, that there is more to your search for other employment than just money. Is there anything about your job here that you would like to change? Can you share your thoughts with me?"

There a gazillion reasons why someone wants to leave their job. She may present you with reasons that you can't do anything about; but, at least, you'll have a better idea about where the company stands with this employee. Don't be surprised if the reason she wants to leave is because she's friends with her supervisor.

I hope this helps, and please keep us posted on how it turns out.

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Unread 08-06-2009, 04:35 AM
teaguer360 teaguer360 is offline
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Thanks for your thoughts - the bonus at completion of project/timeline is a great idea. I'll keep you posted on how it all turns out.
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