Overview: Employment contracts set out the duties of the employee and employer, and provide the employer with the opportunity to clarify the relationship. The specific terms required in an employment agreement vary by state and by type of employment or profession. Although the terms of employment contracts may differ, every written contract of employment should be signed by both the employer and the employee.
Some states recognize implied employment contracts when an employer makes statements or takes certain actions that are inconsistent with an at-will employment relationship - even if they are unintentional. If an implied employment contract is found, an employer may be bound by its terms. Therefore, since employment contract law is state driven, employers should check the laws in which they do business in order to avoid creating an implied employment contract.
Trends: Employers continue to be exposed to claims by at-will employees, who claim that their termination of employment was in violation of an implied employment contract based on language contained in an offer letter or employee handbook, or by verbal statements of job security by the employer. Therefore, if an at-will employment relationship is intended, employers must make clear to the employee that he or she is an at-will employee and disclaim any contractual relationship.
Author: Melissa A. Silver, JD, Legal Editor
In-depth review of the spectrum of Arizona employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to terms of employment.
A discussion of a court's ruling that 15 months is long enough for an employee to be bound by a noncompete agreement has been added to the Employment Law Manual.
In-depth review of the spectrum of Arizona employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to performance appraisals.
In-depth review of the spectrum of New Jersey employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to Employee Communications.
An employer can customize this sample letter to demand that a current or former employee stop violating the terms of a restrictive covenant.
An employer may use this form to demand that a current or former employee stop violating the terms of a restrictive covenant and to threaten legal action if he or she continues to engage in the prohibited activity.
In-depth review of the spectrum of Connecticut employment law HR must follow in respect to employment at-will doctrines.
In-depth review of the spectrum of Tennessee employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to employment at-will.
The Northern District of Illinois has rejected the Illinois appellate court's holding in Fifield v. Premier Dealer Servs. and ruled that an employee's15 months of employment was sufficient consideration to support a noncompete agreement.
In-depth review of the spectrum of District of Columbia employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to employee communications.
Guidance for HR on the use of employment contracts. Support on creating and enforcing legally binding contracts that cover all the vital areas.