The COVID-19 pandemic continues to place heavy burdens on the economy. Therefore, executives at all levels should prepare for a transition in employment. As I wrote in December 2015, regarding a Wall Street Journal piece (December 1, 2015, page C1), and the same holds true today. Now, more than ever, it is important to have your ”employment disaster recovery bag” at the ready.
What Is in an Employment Disaster Recovery Bag?
- Offer letter or employment agreement
- Any confidentiality, non-solicit, non-compete, work for hire, and/or garden leave agreement
- Employee handbook
- Any document or plan relating to your equity, deferred compensation, bonus, pension, or any other aspect of your employment
Keeping your documents in order and up to date is a best practice for any employee no matter the level of seniority. Why? Because preparation is key when the ax falls in your direction and following being presented with separation documents. Also, if you retain counsel, you will make the process that much more efficient.
Preparing for an Employment Transition
A lawyer experienced in this area will understand your employment-related documents. Thus, he or she can advise you of your rights and obligations. If you go at it alone, there are risks that money may be left on the table or you may wind up agreeing to some limitation on your future job prospects.
Whether the loss of your job is expected or not, put together your Employment Disaster Recovery Bag. Finding and organizing the bag contents may take some time and effort. The investment will be worth it, though, so all is in order when the time comes. Plus, you may need to ask your employer for copies of documents. It is better to ask before your situation becomes tenuous.