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Understanding What is Considered an Employment Contract

A contract is basically a promise or set of promises for the breach of which the law gives a remedy, or the performance of which the law may recognize a duty. Employment contracts are used to mandate the specific terms and conditions the employee must agree to if they decide to accept the position.

This may include terms on the following:

  • Duration of the job
  • Responsibilities and expectations
  • Salary and raise stipulations

These agreements may also include detailed terms on the length of employment, acceptable reasons for termination, and the amount of severance pay that will be offered.

Formal written employment agreements that guarantee employment for a specific period of time are rare, given the employment-at-will rule in most states. They do exist, however, especially in tight labor markets where employers are competing for talent. Executives, top sales and marketing people, as well as experts specializing in certain technical fields, often have employment agreements.

Furthermore, in order to maintain the level of productivity and retain important employees, companies are often including restrictive clauses, such as those enforcing non-competes or solicitation with other similar companies. These stipulations are typically reserved for employees who will have access to sensitive and confidential information regarding the operations of the business.

When Do I Need NYC Employment Contract Legal Counsel?

While most contracts and agreements are in writing, some may be made orally as well. Though these are more difficult to prove, they can still be legally binding in many cases. For example, if an employee or employer is relying on assurances or promises that are broken, they may be held liable if they knew these promises to be false. However, it should not be assumed that these issues will always be upheld and enforced by the court. If your employer takes actions that violate the terms in your contract, you may be able to take steps to bring a lawsuit against them to recover economic damages caused by the breach.

Having a legal advocate by your side in any contractual matter is absolutely crucial. A qualified New York employment law attorney can stand by your side during this time and ensure that your rights remain safeguarded. They can also advise you on the best steps to take when agreeing to and litigating a contract, as they often understand the complex language and clauses involved.

If you are concerned about provisions in a severance agreement or employment contract, the attorneys at Schwartz Perry & Heller LLP urge you to contact us online or call to speak with one of our attorneys.

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