Employment Contract

Using an Employment Contract ensures both the employer and the employee or contractor understand their rights and obligations.

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An Employment Contract gives a written record of employer expectations as well as other details of employment. A written Employment Contract isn't necessary to start working for someone, nor is it necessary to hire someone. An employee can be hired on as little as a verbal agreement. But a written contract is a good way to protect both parties in the future.

What Is an Employment Contract

An Employment Contract is a legally-binding document regarding the terms of employment between an employer and an employee, independent contractor, subcontractor, or freelancer.

As an employee, it's highly advisable to request an Employment Contract from your employer. Many employers don't use Employment Contracts as a matter of course, which leaves them the option to change working conditions in the future.

Without a written contract stating otherwise, most employees in the United States are considered to be working at-will. That means they can quit or be fired at any time for any legal reason. A contract can establish different terms under which an employer is allowed to fire an employee and that an employee must abide by when quitting.

Employment contracts can also be oral, implied, or at-will. Oral and implied agreements are not formally documented, but they are still legally binding. However, the terms of written contracts are much easier to prove in court, should that become necessary.

Other Names for Employment Contract

Depending on your state, an Employment Contract may also be known as:

  • Job Contract

  • Contract of Employment

  • Employee Contract

  • Employment Agreement

  • Contract of Service

Who Needs an Employment Contract?

Typically, an employer provides an Employment Contract for a person they're hiring. In effect, human resources managers who are preparing to hire a new employee should use Employment Contracts.

However, an employee is free to suggest the use of an Employment Contract to a prospective employer. You're free to draft an Employment Contract for your own conditions of employment, and many freelancers and contractors have standard contracts they use when entering a work relationship.

Why Use 360 Legal Forms for your Employment Contract

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Create your own documents by answering our easy-to-understand questionnaires to get exactly what you need out of your Employment Contract.

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All you have to do is fill out a simple questionnaire, print, and sign. No printer? No worries. You and other parties can even sign online.

How to Create an Employment Contract with 360 Legal Forms

Employment Contracts usually need some specific clauses and provisions if they're expected to provide substantive protection. By answering a few questions about the nature of the employment, 360 Legal Forms' proprietary form generator will create an Employment Contract tailored to your conditions and jurisdiction.

Let 360 Legal Forms help with our extensive library of attorney-vetted legal forms. The process is fast and easy. All you have to do is fill out our simple-to-understand questionnaire. Once complete, just download your form as a PDF or Word document from your secure online account.

What Information Will I Need to Create My Employment Contract?

To create your document, please provide:

  • Employee: The full name and address of the person being hired.

  • Employer: Full name and address of the person or entity hiring the employee.

  • Start Date: Date when the employee is expected to start working for the employer.

  • Term: The period of time for which the Employment Contract will remain in effect. This can have an option for extension built-in to the Employment Contract.

  • Position: A full description and title of the employee's position and responsibilities.

  • Benefits: Details regarding time off, disability protection, health insurance, and any other benefits the employee is entitled to.

  • Compensation: The amount of money owed to the employee on an hourly, weekly, biweekly, or monthly basis, including any bonuses and commissions.

Employment Contract Terms

  • Non-Compete: A clause in an Employment Contract that forbids the employee from working for competing businesses or starting a competing business after their employment ends.

  • Probationary Period: A period of time during which the terms of the Employment Contract aren't fully in effect and the employee can be fired if he or she can't perform to the standards of the employer.

  • Agency Provision: A section of the Employment Contract that forbids employees from entering a contract on behalf of the employer.

  • Fringe Benefit: Any non-monetary benefit an employee receives from an employer beyond their usual compensation, such as the use of a company car.

  • Atypical Worker: Any worker who doesn't work a standard workweek. This includes shift workers, part-time workers, agency workers, and others.

Employment Contract Signing Requirements

To be valid, an Employment Contract must be signed by the employer (or an organization hiring an individual to work on the employer's behalf) and the employee or organization hired.

Unless the contract specifically requires the signatures to be notarized, it is legal and enforceable without notarization. However, having the signatures notarized provides more protection for both parties if either tries to enforce the Employment Contract in the future.

What to Do With Your Employment Contract

Both the employer and the employee should keep a signed copy of the Employment Contract for their respective personal records. A copy of the contract does not need to be filed with any state or local office for the document to be legally enforceable.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Generally, an employment contract does not need to be notarized – the parties only need to sign the document to make it legally enforceable. A witness may be helpful if the other party attempts to contest the document, but a notary is not necessary.

However, the use of a notary ensures that no one challenges any signatures later and is a secure way to firmly establish the effectiveness of your document.

Yes, if you reserve the right to do so within the contract. However, any changes must be considered reasonable and rational.
Unless you reserve the right to do so, any changes will have to be agreed upon by both parties. If you make a change and an employee continues to work for you, a court might interpret this as them agreeing to the change.

No, employers and employees need to meet certain expectations regardless of whether or not they are in a written contract. Those expectations include but are not limited to:

  • Provide a secure, healthy, and safe working environment
  • A mutual obligation to avoid actions that undermine the relationship of mutual trust and confidence
  • An employee's obligation to obey reasonable instructions and work with due diligence

No. Each employee is treated as a separate agent. Moreover, an implied Employment Contract exists with all your employees whether you put it in writing or not. Having a written Employment Contract is a more secure way of establishing a working relationship.
Also note that you must provide, in writing, the details of a position to any hired employees within two months of them starting the job.

No. A service agreement is used to hire a service provider, not an employee. The service provider never enters your employ. Rather, they're contracted to provide a specific service.

You're certainly within your rights, and an oral contract is technically enforceable. However, proving any of the terms in a verbal agreement comes down to whose version of the story a court decides to accept. Unless you have it in writing, an employer can claim that your contract is for anything that's legally acceptable.

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Applicable to all 50 states
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