Although the law of Rhode Island requires employers in this state to pay employees the cash compensation to which the employer agreed, many employers choose to also offer other forms of compensation, the terms of which might not be so clear cut.
Employees in Rhode Island might be confused about the concepts of severance pay versus separation pay or may think that they are one and the same.
Rhode Island law allows for none of the common exceptions to the rule of at-will employment that many of its sister states permit, and this means that employees in this state, if at all possible, are going to want to consider negotiating for some limitations on when they can be fired.
As part of their employment contracts with new, upper level recruits, many employers in Rhode Island offer what are called stock options. While many executives and managers may be somewhat familiar with stock options, it may be hard to understand exactly what these are without speaking to an attorney or someone familiar with the world of finance.
Given the ongoing changes in the landscape of employment law, it is becoming more and more common for Rhode island employers and employees to negotiate agreements when an employee leaves a company, even if the departure is involuntary and under less than happy circumstances.
Whether a severance agreement is simply part of leaving your position, or you are seeking a significant package for years of dedicated work, the outcome will be important. It is good to note that there is a difference between severance agreements and severance packages.
A recent post on this blog reminded readers that Rhode Island law allows employers to put noncompetition clauses into their employment contracts. These agreements might prevent an employee from being able to work in his or her profession or trade after he or she leaves his or her current place of work.
Many Rhode Island employers want to avoid a situation in which one of their employees leaves to go to a competitor, taking all of the employer's valuable secrets and strategies with him or her to share with the employer's competitor.
Employment contracts can address important uses and benefits, but it is also important to know what to do if an employment contract has been breached. Not all employment relationships have an employment contract and, in fact, many may not. Many employment relationships are referred to as "at-will" employment, which permits an employer to terminate an employee for any reason that is not against the law and does not place restrictions on an employee, such as a non-compete agreement or non-disclosure agreement would.
If you are considering a new job, you may be wondering what an employment contract is. If you already have an employment contract, you may have concerns related to enforcing it. In general, an employment contract is a written agreement between an employer and an employee. Most employment arrangements are at-will arrangements that do not involve an employment contract. In an at-will employment relationship, the employer can fire the employee at any time provided it is not illegal or subject to certain limitations. When there is an employment contract, the terms of employment are largely governed by the agreement.