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Necessary elements of a legal employment contract

For most employers and employees, avoiding an employment dispute is a mutual priority. Employment litigation can bring extreme costs and leave either party detrimentally affected. When companies hire new workers, they want to ensure that their employment contract proves legal and valid, while the new workers want to verify that the document holds only necessary elements.

Employers: Developing a legal employment contract

For companies to legally hire an individual as an employee, an employee contract agreement must be drafted. An employee contract highlights the terms and considerations that both the employer and employee agree to before engaging in a work-related contractual relationship.

Employee contracts help ensure that all elements of the job duties and earnings are clearly stated, so that both employees and employers understand the arrangement. To avoid disputes, employers should always, if possible, put an employment contract in writing and have all members sign it.

Valid employment contracts may include:

  • A start date
  • An end date, if applicable
  • A salary or hourly offer
  • The company name
  • Detailed offered benefits
  • Job title
  • Contingency elements
  • Signatures of all parties

A crucial aspect of employment contracts lies in detail. As an employer, you want to be as clear as possible when stating the terms of employment and benefits, so that potential employees do not feel blind-sided after accepting a position.

Employees: Identifying whether you should sign the contract

While employees should confirm that the contract presents all necessary elements, including the position start date and benefit offerings, employees should confirm that the document includes all elements that they agree to. When identifying whether the employment contract has validity, potential employees should:

  1. Determine whether the salary and benefits align
  2. Decide whether the job itself aligns with your skills and anticipated tasks
  3. Look for a noncompete clause
  4. Discover whether you are a part-time or full-time employee
  5. Identify any contingency agreements

A contract between an employee and an employer should indicate two parties, offering services for pay. Employers should always clearly identify the tasks of the job and logistical elements, so that they can avoid disputes with employees in the future. To ensure a contract works for employees, they should always read a contract carefully as to avoid signing anything that would detrimentally affect them. If employment disputes arise, it is essential to contact an experienced employment law attorney to help resolve issues.

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