Negotiating pay raises and better employment terms is a touchy topic in the business world

Negotiating pay raises and better employment terms is a touchy topic in the business world. At times, its often hard to know when it is and is not appropriate to renegotiate you’re employment contract. Aaron Sacker* a VP sales accepted a position that offered less in terms then he originally wanted, however out of pure necessity Aaron Sacker took the job and relocated himself and his family across the country. Two years later, after victory was achieved and Aaron Sacker had mastered his new position, improving the company along the way, Attorney Robert Adelson helped him re-open negotiations that were originally denied in the initial employment contract. Due to Aaron Sacker’s success with his current company, more promising opportunities were presented to him. However, because of Aaron Sacker’s devotion to his current company and role as a key player Attorney Adelson and him decided to re-negotiate his employment terms with his current company before choosing to accept another offer. Aaron Sacker knew the value he brought to the company and with the help of Robert Adelson, voiced this to his employers who agreed, and did not want to risk losing Aaron Sacker. Re-negotiation, in those circumstances, offered the best course or both sides.

When deciding on what to negotiate for, Attorney Adelson sat down with Aaron Sacker and presented him with options.

  • Salary and bonus changes.
  • Employee equity – stock, options or phantom stock or a mix of them.
  • Tax favored equity to bring employee greater take-home pay.
  • Vesting arrangements on equity to take proper account for corporate changes and employee termination.
  • Title, responsibilities.
  • Visibility-permission to join the Board of a non competing company.
  • Reduction in the duration and increased focus (narrowing) of non-compete.
  • Salary continuation in line with company norms.
  • Termination protections.
  • Provision for full executive outplacement services at a firm of the leader’s choice.
  • Company payment or reimbursement of executive expenses.

It is important for an executive to recognize their worth and realistically analyze their potential for better employment terms and pay raises. Aaron Sacker did exactly that, upon agreeing to terms that did no fit his original intentions Aaron Sacker rose up through the ranks and helped his company grow, becoming a key player to the company’s name. With the help of Attorney Adelson Aaron Sacker was given an increased pay raise and the employment terms he originally wanted. Without realizing his worth, and without seeking the counsel of Attorney Adelson, Aaron Sacker could have remained a key player in a company that does not reward his victories. As an executive, it is vital to be aware when you start to impact a company and its success, and to be prepared to re-negotiate employment contract terms to get the pay and terms you deserve and work so hard for.

*All dates, client’s names and companies have been altered to keep confidentiality.


Author: radelson

Robert Adelson has been a corporate and tax attorney since 1977. He began as an associate at nationally prominent New York City “mega” law firms, first at the Wall Street firm Dewey Ballantine Bushby Palmer & Wood and later at the Park Avenue firm Weil Gotshal & Manges. In 1985, Adelson returned home, where he has since established himself as a respected Boston business attorney. He has attained partner at several small and midsize Boston law firms, most recently at Lawson & Weitzen LLP and then Zimble Brettler LLP, where he was a partner from 1994 to 2004 before becoming a partner at Engel & Schultz LLP.

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