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Professional trajectory refers to the path or course that a professional takes during the course of one’s career. This may include one’s educational background, work experience, and any other relevant information that helps to define one’s career path. It is important to note that a professional trajectory is not always linear and may change over time as a person’s goals and interests evolve.

Protecting Your Long-Term Professional Trajectory After Leaving a Company

When leaving a company, it is important to take steps to protect your long-term professional trajectory. This may include negotiating a severance package and a limitation or prohibition on a non-compete agreement between you and your employer. Arizona employment law attorney Katharina Martinka can help you understand your rights and obligations and provide guidance on how to protect your future career prospects.

It is important to note that a severance agreement cannot hurt your long-term professional directory as the existence and terms of severance agreements are almost always confidential.

Negotiating a severance package

The process of negotiating a severance package can vary depending on the situation. If you are being laid off, your employer may have a set severance package that they offer to all employees who are being let go. In this case, you may not have much room to negotiate. However, even if you’re being laid off or, are resigning, or are in the process of being fired, you may be able to negotiate a severance package that is more favorable to you–particularly if you believe that you are being discriminated against or have other potential claims against your employer.

Some things that you may want to try to negotiate for in a severance package include:

  • A lump-sum payment or continuation of compensation to bridge the gap between this position and your next one
  • Continued health insurance coverage
  • Outplacement assistance
  • Severance pay based on your salary and length of employment in exchange for assisting with the transition to another person or persons assuming your workload or with the organization’s pending or future litigation

If you can negotiate a severance package, be sure to get the agreement in writing so that there is no confusion about the terms.  It is important to have counsel on your side to review the language of any proposed agreement, so that you understand the rights and responsibilities of both parties, as well as the impact of releasing any current and future claims you may have against the company.

A severance package can help protect your long-term professional trajectory by providing some financial stability during a time of transition and can also offer some helpful resources, like outplacement services. It is important to remember that a severance package is not a golden ticket to a new job, but it can be a useful tool in transitioning to a new role.

California’s Prohibition on Non-Compete Agreements

A non-compete agreement, also known as a covenant not to compete (CNC), is a contract typically between an employer and employee in which the employee agrees not to enter into competition against the employer. These agreements are usually signed when an employee first joins a company, or when they are promoted into a management or other high-level position.

Non-compete agreements are designed to protect an employer’s business interests by preventing an employee from leaving the company and starting a competing business, or from going to work for a competitor. These agreements can be very restrictive and often prevent an employee from working in the same industry or even the same geographic area as their former employer.

This is a common agreement in many states, but in California, state law prohibits non-compete agreements between employers and employees (though it is still acceptable between business partners, members of an LLC, etc.).  In other states, such as Arizona, non-competes are valid but must be narrowly tailored in terms of scope, geography, and time.  An Arizona Employment Law attorney can help you review and assess the provisions of any non-compete agreement.

While non-competes are unenforceable in California, non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) are. A non-disclosure agreement prohibits employees from sharing trade secrets or using confidential company information post-employment. If you have questions regarding the enforceability of these employee agreements in Arizona or California, be sure to consult with an experienced attorney–you shouldn’t be taken advantage of by your employer!

How an attorney can help

If you have been wrongfully terminated or are facing other workplace issues, an Orange County Employment law attorney can help you understand your rights and options through a deeper understanding of your severance package and other employee agreements (such as an NDA).

Orange County employment attorneys can help you understand the potential risks and benefits of taking action regarding your severance package and guide you through the legal process.

California business lawyers can also help you if you are considering starting your own business. There are many legal considerations to take into account when starting a business, and a California business attorney can help you navigate the process and guide you in protecting your long-term professional trajectory.

No matter what stage you are at in your career, Katharina Martinka, of The Law Offices of Katharina Martinka, PLLC, is an experienced Employment and Business Law attorney, who can help you understand your rights and options and provide guidance on how to protect your long-term professional trajectory. If you have been wrongfully terminated, are considering starting your own business, or are facing other workplace issues, contact Katharina today to discuss your matter.