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Home > Church & Non-Profit > Non-Profit Employment Agreements

Non-Profit Employment Agreements

A critical step in the hiring process is creating a reliable and effective employment agreement. You want to be sure that these agreements protect your organization’s interests, while also protecting the legal rights of the worker. As a non-profit organization, you may want to use an employment agreement to ensure that executives you hire are supportive of the vision that your board has for your organization, or to lay out an exit strategy so that an eventual change in leadership can occur smoothly and peacefully.

Our skilled non-profit employment attorneys at MacDonald, Lee & Senechalle have been helping Illinois non-profit organizations and religious institutions with legal issues surrounding employment for decades. We understand the unique needs of charitable organizations and the challenges they face in staffing and responding to employee challenges. Contact our seasoned non-profit law attorneys for assistance today in creating a non-profit employment agreement.

What are key terms that should be included in a non-profit employment agreement?

Having new hires at your non-profit organization sign an employment agreement can provide predictability and security both to the employee and the organization. Your contracts can benefit from including the following provisions:

  • Job description: Including a detailed job description in an employment agreement is a chance to clearly lay out your expectations for your new hire.
  • Compensation: State the worker’s salary, as well as any other benefits—monetary or otherwise—to which the worker will be entitled.
  • Length of employment: If the position has an expiration date, whether due to the return from leave of an existing employee or the end of a particular project, state clearly what will trigger the end of the worker’s term with your organization.
  • Morality clause: If your organization adheres to certain religious principles, be sure to state clearly any expectations that the worker demonstrate these principles on or off the job. Morality clauses can permit employers to consider morally-offensive conduct which could harm the employer’s reputation to be cause for termination or a breach of contract.
  • Noncompete agreements: Illinois has placed limits on the types of noncompete agreements that employers can include in employment contracts. Any restrictions on the future employment prospects of an employee must be considered “reasonable” to be enforced. Illinois courts have determined this to mean that the agreement must:
  • Restrict the worker to no greater extent than is necessary to protect the employer’s legitimate business interest
  • Not impose undue hardship on the worker, and
  • Not cause harm to the public in some way.

That said, even noncompete agreements which meet these standards cannot be used with every employee. The Illinois Freedom to Work Act, which was signed into law in August of 2016, prohibits employers from including noncompete clauses in contracts with “low-wage employees.” In other words, if a worker earns $13.00 per hour or the minimum wage, whichever is greater, employers cannot place restrictions on that employee working for another employer for a certain length of time, doing similar work, or working in a certain geographic area after leaving their employ.

Experienced Legal Representation in Chicago Nonprofit Employment Agreements

For expert, seasoned assistance in creating an employment agreement for a new hire at your nonprofit organization, contact the knowledgeable and professional Chicagoland non-profit attorneys at MacDonald, Lee & Senechalle, in Hoffman Estates at 847-310-0025, and in Des Plaines at 847-298-5030.

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