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
Oklahoma has expanded the protection of employer interests with a new law enforcing nonsolicitation contracts prohibiting employees or independent contractors from soliciting an employer's employees or independent contractors to become employees of another person or business.
The Oklahoma Terms of Employment, Employee Communications and Employee Discipline sections of the Employment Law Manual have been updated to include a new Oklahoma law effective November 1, 2013 enforcing nonsolicitation of employee clauses in employment agreements.
It is critical that financial services industry employers understand the consequences of noncompliance with the many laws that apply to this highly regulated industry. This Legal Insight highlights some of the more notable legal requirements to help HR spot potential issues. By becoming more familiar with the growing number of rules applicable to the financial services industry, employers can and should take proactive steps to ensure compliance and thereby lessen any risk of civil and/or criminal liability.
The Pennsylvania Terms of Employment and Employment Offer sections of the Employment Law Manual have been updated to reflect the recent Supreme Court ruling in Pulse Technologies, Inc. v. Notaro, 2013 Pa. LEXIS 1097 (May 29, 2013).
In-depth review of the spectrum of Washington employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to employment offers.
XpertHR has enhanced two sections in its Employment Law Manual addressing a major exception to claims for retaliatory discharge in violation of public policy in Tennessee. Employers with locations in Tennessee should familiarize themselves with the exception to stay abreast of the constantly-changing landscape of law derived from the employment at-will doctrine.
In-depth review of the spectrum of Tennessee employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to terms of employment.
XpertHR has enhanced its coverage of the Employment At-Will doctrine in several states, including Louisiana, South Carolina, the District of Columbia and Texas. Employers with locations in these jurisdictions should review these additions to further enhance their understanding of how the employment at-will doctrine works in these states, together with the major exceptions to it that are relevant to defending and preventing wrongful termination cases.
In-depth review of the spectrum of Vermont employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to terms of employment.
In-depth review of the spectrum of Colorado employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to employment offer.
Guidance for HR on the use of employment contracts. Support on creating and enforcing legally binding contracts that cover all the vital areas.
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