We’re pleased to offer another new “Model Letter”:

Published on July 21st, 2016 by Alan L. Sklover

“Request for a ‘Renewal Notice’ Provision in a New or Existing Employment Agreement”

Most employment contracts include a “term” clause that commits both employer and employee to work together for one, two of three years.

As that “term” draws to a close, without a mechanism to provide a transparency process to address the possible end of the employment relation, quite often the employee feels job-insecure, not knowing if his or her employment will be ending soon, and not confident enough to request a prompt answer from the employer.

Likewise, the employer may also fear loss of a valuable employee with little, if any, time to search for a suitable replacement.

A “Renewal Notice” provision solves that problem by requiring each side to provide a notice of their intentions regarding renewal or extension, and, if both sides say “Yes,” then for renewal discussions to commence shortly after that.

It does not cost anyone anything, but is so very valuable to both “sides.” With a Renewal Notice provision in place, no one will be left “high and dry,” and both sides will know in good time whether a new position or employee must be sought with enough time to do so. It is a true win-win proposition.

This model letter shows you how to request that a “Renewal Notice” provision be inserted into either an existing employment agreement, or one in discussion or negotiation.

Play by the rules, but don’t defeat yourself. Learn how, and play hard. That’s what SkloverWorkingWisdom is all about.

To obtain your copy of our “Request for a Renewal Notice Provision,” just [click here.]

“You are not alone, at work, any more.”™

© 2016 Alan L. Sklover All Rights Reserved.

“Subsidized COBRA in Severance – What’s that?”

Published on July 19th, 2016 by Alan L. Sklover

Question: Dear Alan: I was recently laid off from my job in pharmaceutical sales, and received a small severance. I signed up for COBRA healthcare continuation for my family. When the bill came, for family coverage all I had to pay for my entire family was $325 monthly. That is far less than I thought it would cost.

Concerned that there was a mistake, I called Human Resources, and was told that it was not the usual COBRA benefits, but “Subsidized” COBRA benefits. What does that mean?

Bozeman, Montana

Answer: Dear Emy: Good question, as many employees don’t know the difference, and many lose out because of this lack of knowledge. Let me do my best to explain.
Continue Reading. . .

Sklover’s Thought for the Work Week

Published on July 18th, 2016 by Alan L. Sklover

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“People value people who value people.”

– Tony Curl

I just keep thinking about this quote. I believe it describes good managers, as well as the employees who good managers elevate to managerial positions. It refers to those at work who are admired and prized by their colleagues. And it speaks of those among us who attract clients and customers, who are often called “rainmakers.” It is a trait that is especially sought after by those who hire. Strive to be a person who finds value in others, and you will always be valued by others, as well.

© 2016 Alan L. Sklover. All Rights Reserved

[This quote was contributed by Sarah from Alexandria, Louisiana. If you would like to contribute a favorite quote, saying or proverb, please submit it to us at vanessa@executivelaw.com].

“The Renewal Notice” Provision – A Win-Win in any Employment Contract

Published on July 12th, 2016 by Alan L. Sklover

“When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”

– Yogi Berra

ACTUAL CASE HISTORY: Ailyn, 58, was the Chief Technology Officer of a mid-sized telecommunications company in the Southwestern U.S. She had been hired four years earlier, and given something that many people seek: an employment contract with a term of four years.

For her three and a half years with the company she enjoyed the calm and confidence that only job security brings: no job loss unless she committed some kind of “cause” for termination, such as theft, conflict of interest, or harassment, which of course she knew she would not do. She also had the confidence of someone whose annual performance appraisals each year were “exceeds expectation.”

With her contract coming up for renewal, she spoke with her manager, the company’s Chief Operating Officer, who assured her that he would be her advocate, and that she had nothing to be concerned about. Being pleased with her job, compensation and role, and not having any “dark clouds on the horizon,” Ailyn waited for news of her contract extension. And waited. And waited.

With her contract set to expire in just three weeks, Ailyn pressed the COO for an explanation for the delay. His explanation was simple: it was “held up” somewhere in General Counsel’s office, due to some kind of new regulation that had to be ironed out.

Two weeks later, she got the true story: a new Chief Technology Officer had been recruited for his internet marketing experience, and had been hired to replace her. Apparently her employer was negotiating the new CTO’s contract, and things had taken longer than they had expected. She was then given notice of just one week that her employment contract was not going to be renewed.

This was not the way she had expected things to go. She wondered to herself, “Where did I go wrong?”

LESSON TO LEARN: (A brief note: While “contract renewal” (which means “a new contract, beginning the relation again, on all the same terms”) and “contract extension” (which means “adding a number of months or years to the duration of the existing contract”) are technically different, for the purposes of this newsletter, we are using them interchangeably. We also refer to “agreements” and “contracts” interchangeably in this article.)

Employment agreements or contracts usually set down a certain period of time for which both parties agree to remain in the relation, commonly called the “Term.” For this reason, having an employment agreement or contract in place is seen as a source of valuable job security, for the employee, and valuable employee retention, for the employer, at least for that specified period of time.

However, toward the end of the contract term, for both employer and employee, “navigating” the issue of contract extension or renewal can be fraught with risk and anxiety. On the one hand, if you are interested in remaining with your present employer, you don’t want to seem “pushy” or mistrustful, and so may be inclined to be patient by waiting for your employer to make up its mind as to continuing the relation, or providing you with a written extension document. On the other hand, being patient might leave you with little time to find a new position elsewhere if your contract extension or renewal does not come to be. The employer who wants to keep the employee may be in an equivalent position of risk and anxiety.

It is for this reason that we encourage all clients who have an employment agreement, or who seek an employment agreement, to request that a “Renewal Notice” provision be inserted in it.

A “Renewal Notice” is just what it sounds like: (i) a written notice, (ii) to be provided by both employer and employee, (iii) at least six or so months before a contract expiration, requiring that each give notice of his, her or its intension regarding contract renewal or extension. Secondarily, a Renewal Notice should also provide for the commencement of discussions of the terms of renewal or extension to commence promptly, if both sides want to renew or extend.

Having a Renewal Notice provision in a contract (a) substantially lowers the chance that either employer or employee will be left “in the lurch,” that is, at risk for an unexpected end of the relation, and (b) provides both sides with a pre-arranged framework in which to openly and amicably examine – and navigate – contract extension.

The “Renewal Notice” provision in an employment agreement sets up a “win-win” dynamic in the employment relation. Why not ask for one, whether you are seeking an employment agreement, negotiating an employment agreement, or have one already, and considering improving it.

If you are going to have an employment agreement, it might as well be a good one.

WHAT YOU CAN DO: Consider the wisdom or requesting a “Renewal Notice” provision in any employment agreement or contract you have, or want to have, with your employer, with these things in mind:
Continue Reading. . .

Sklover’s Thought for the Work Week

Published on July 11th, 2016 by Alan L. Sklover

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“One tequila, two tequila, three tequila, floor.”

– George Carlin

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with enjoying the fruits of the vine. But bear in mind how, like the vine itself, the fruits of the vine have a tendency to creep up on you before you even know it, especially so in warmer weather. Like anything else, if you’re going to enjoy, enjoy responsibly. Not doing so could cost you your licenses, your job, your family, and all that is truly dear to you.

© 2016 Alan L. Sklover. All Rights Reserved

[If you would like to contribute a favorite quote, saying or proverb, please submit it to us at vanessa@executivelaw.com].

Alan L. Sklover

Alan L. Sklover

Employment Attorney
and Career Strategist
for over 30 years

Job Security and Career Success now depend on knowing how to navigate and negotiate to gain the most for your skills, time and efforts. Learn the trade secrets and 'uncommon common sense' of Attorney Alan L. Sklover, the leading authority on "Negotiating for Yourself at Work™".

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