Virginia Employment Contract Review

Our Attorneys review Employment Contracts within 48-72 hours

Should An Attorney Review Your Employment Contract?

Absolutely. The business and legal terms of a employment agreements can vary drastically from employer to employer.  In many industries, employers want to restrict their employees ability to solicit customers and otherwise compete against them after their employment is terminated or the employment contract expires.  Likewise, employers often want to ensure that their employees are generating products and services solely for the employers benefit. 

The employers goals are legitimate, but no two situations are the same. As a general rule, legal documents tend to favor the drafting party. This is particularly true in the context of an employment agreements. Its easier for an employer to include “catch-all” provisions, but these provisions may not accurately reflect the term of the deal or may be over broad.

Naturally, the agreement you are presented with was drafted to protect the employer.  

Consulting with a lawyer experienced in negotiating employment contract terms before signing a an employment agreement is a wise investment in yourself. Having the ability to be gainfully employed or produce revenue through alternative revenue streams is essential to your life and well-being.  You should be cautious to ensure you understand the restrictions placed upon you and carve out any exceptions. 

image to illustrate employment contract

For instance, do you have a side project, hobby, or business that is built upon using the same skills you deploy during the course of your employment?  If so, you need to ensure that the employer cannot make a claim to your intellectual property and inventions that you develop outside the course of your employment.  These types of protections are often easily agreed upon before employment, but can be tricky to maneuver if issues develop during the course of the employment.  


See What Our Clients Have to Say

Our law firm recognizes and appreciates the adage that time kills deals. We may “hurry up and wait”, but that is okay.  We can’t control the other guys turnaround time, but we can control ours. We will review your employment contract and  produce a redline with our changes within 48-72 hours of our initial meeting and completion of our formal engagement.  Attorney Derek A. Colvin or John Allen Waldrop can assist you today. Click the “Free Consult” button to schedule a consultation, call, or email. We’d love to help you on this journey. 

Should you negotiate the terms of your employment?

Dr. Chester L. Karrass wrote a book entitled: In business as in life, you don’t get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate. Our experience has found this adage to be true.

In fact, employers often expect their prospective employees to negotiate. Particularly at the executive level, there are many negotiable business and legal terms.  

Items Addressed in An employment Contract

When it comes to the employment relationship, an employment contract serves as an essential agreement between the employer and employee, which can help prevent any future misunderstandings or disputes. One of the main advantages of having a written employment contract is that it can provide clear guidance on the roles, responsibilities, and expectations of both parties. This leads to better communication and understanding between the employer and employee, creating an environment of transparency and trust. Additionally, an employment contract can include provisions on important matters such as compensation, benefits, termination, non-disclosure, and non-compete clauses. By having a clear and comprehensive employment contract in place, both parties can have the peace of mind that their rights and obligations are protected by law and that they are working towards common goals. Therefore, it is highly recommended that employment contracts be used in every employment relationship.


All employment contracts contain a base salary or compensation structure, but many results orientated positions will include additional compensation metrics. Employees may also be eligible for stock options, grants, or other equity compensation. From an employee perspective, its always best to negotiate and specify certain perimeters as early as possible. When possible, resist the urge to develop specifics and key performance indicators during a probationary period. Aside from base compensation, employers may offer an onboarding or signup bonus, an annual or periodic bonus, a performance bonus, or equity awards.  


When we talk about employment, we often focus on salary. However, it’s important to note that salary is not the only factor that determines the value of a job. In fact, benefits play a crucial role in determining a job’s overall appeal. There are a variety of benefits that employers may offer, including medical, disability, and life insurance, retirement benefits, paid time off, and fringe benefits.

Each of these benefits can be incredibly valuable. For example, medical insurance can cost several hundred dollars a month for an individual, which can quickly add up over the course of a year. Retirement benefits can also be an important consideration for the long-term financial security of an employee. Additionally, fringe benefits such as wellness programs, commuter benefits, or tuition reimbursement can provide additional value and support for employees.


Virginia follows an at-will employment policy, which means that employers have the right to terminate employees without any specific reason. However, there are options available to secure your employment and protect your rights. An employment contract can require a minimum term of employment or mandate payment if you are dismissed without a valid justification. Term provisions can assist in providing some level of job security and legal protection.

intellectual Property

When an individual is creating or innovating products and services for their employer, it’s highly probable that the ownership over the intellectual property wants to be obtained by the employer. If the relationship is based on a work-for-hire agreement, the employer usually has the right to retain all the intellectual property rights. However, it’s important to note that the employer should not be entitled to the ownership of intellectual property that has been developed outside the scope of employment. It’s crucial to have a clear understanding of the terms and conditions outlined in the agreement related to intellectual property if you’re developing products and services for your employer.

Non Disclosure

A company’s intellectual property and confidential information is critical to its success. Employees have a responsibility to protect such information and every employee plays a crucial role in maintaining confidentiality. The employment agreement often affirmatively establishes this duty and may establish policies or procedures for an employee to avoid intentional or unintentional disclosures.

Restrictive Covenants

Employers spend significant time and resources to recruit and train qualified staff. It is entirely reasonable for employers to want to protect their investment and their desire to be competitive.  Restrictions are common place, and often acceptable; however, in Virginia these provisions must be reasonable in both scope and duration. What is reasonable will often vary by the circumstances.  Employees should plan for the future when negotiating and agreeing to restrictive covenants, understanding that these type of provisions could prevent them from securing their next job.  

negotiation strategy

What Business and Legal Terms Can Be Negotiable?

The short answer. Most. Of course not all terms are worth negotiating. Strategy and tactic is important. 

We help clients focus on mitigating risk and negotiating the best deal possible.  

Why Choose Our Law Firm?

World Class Legal

We empower clients to make informed decisions by providing premier legal talent.


We are accessible by text, call, e-mail, video-conference, or in person in Hampton Roads, Virginia. We make ourselves available for next-day appointments.


We respond to our clients within hours, not days. We value open and honest communication. You can count on us to pickup when you call.

Reasonable Fee

We work with clients on an hourly rate, fixed fee, or monthly subscription rate. Our competitive price and specialized knowledge are tough to beat.

Virginia Employment Contract Review Attorneys

We focus on results and work hard to deliver solutions. Let us serve as the law department for your business. 

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