If you hire contractors, you should consider establishing an independent employment contract that is quite similar to your employment contract, but contains details about the person being a contractor and not an employee of your brewery. This is an important distinction for several employer-related obligations. How does Craft-Brauer protect all the hard work and reputation it deserves? If you invest a little thought and effort in advance, it is possible to avoid subsequent conflicts with former employees, the loss of competitive advantages and damage to a hard-earned reputation. One way to reduce the likelihood of these results is to ensure that everyone involved in your organization is on the same side, understands your expectations and sources it into the success of your brewery. But that may not be enough. You should also consider legal actions that you can take. Your non-competition agreement must include a reciprocal benefit for your employee that goes beyond simply continuing your employee`s employment. This means that your employee must enter into the non-compete agreement before competing, hiring, encouraging or granting another new benefit at the same time as it is not, such as an increase in exchange for the lack of competitiveness of the agreement. An agreement to continue to employ individuals without new and material benefits is not enough. “From a brewery perspective, I think best practices warrant restrictive agreements in work manuals and employment contracts for key personnel,” McLaughlin said.
“These types of provisions are essential to protect everything a brewery has created and increase the total value of the business. If a brewery has taken outside money or is considering taking foreign money, experienced investors will require the brewery to have these kinds of restrictive agreements, because these kinds of restrictive agreements reduce the risk of employee conflicts and litigation – two things that investors generally do not want to finance. In most cases, a non-compete agreement may effectively limit the indicated geographic area in which a former employee can work, the type of work the former employee can work on, and the limited length of work. The terms of the non-competition clause must be “proportionate” in terms of scope, situation and duration to protect the employer`s interests. The timing of adherence to the non-competition clause is also important. As a general rule, entry into the contract must take place at the beginning of the employment relationship or when the worker is increased or transported. The brewer therefore has one last problem to protect its formulas in the hypothetical described above: the ownership of the formula is disputed. This too could be quite complicated if no preventive measures are taken in this situation. There would probably be a multi-factor analysis of the resources that were used, when the formula was developed, and things like that. But with the right agreements, it will be clear that the brewery owns the intellectual property rights.
In most technology and science-based enterprises, employees and independent contractors are required to execute employment contracts requiring the transfer of the employee`s invention rights. In other words, this means that after the signing of such an agreement, any invention created by the worker in the course of his employment, including beer formulas, and/or the use of the company`s resources belongs to the company – not to the person.