Employers and job candidates should both know what to look for in an employment contract. That way, both parties understand how to protect their employment law rights.
Chron explains the elements of a valid employment agreement. Understand how to give yourself or potential employees peace of mind.
Most U.S. employers default to at-will employment agreements. That means either party may end the agreement for any reason. Companies may also alter employment terms whenever they wish under at-will employment agreements. Before signing a contract, new hires should verify whether it represents a valid employment agreement.
Promised term of employment
Companies that offer job candidates at-will employment may also offer a promised term of employment with an employment contract. That means a company could offer a one- or three-year employment contract. When employers promise a term longer than a year, employees should get a written employment contract. The only way terms that extend longer than a year become binding is if the parties have a written agreement.
Unenforceable contract terms
Before signing an employment contract, it makes sense for job candidates to check it for unenforceable terms. For instance, private agreements cannot change certain federal and New Jersey labor laws. Employees must know when a contract violates their rights, which may require another set of eyes to review the agreement.
Company bulletins, employee handbooks and other documents may create an employment agreement. For instance, consistent positive performance on employee reviews could give the impression that star employees cannot lose their jobs if they continue to perform well.
Companies and workers deserve the peace of mind an employment contract may bring. Understanding the elements of a fair agreement keeps both parties on the same page.