Common Elements in an Employment Contract
California is considered an at-will employment state, meaning that an employee is allowed to leave their employment for any reason and an employer is allowed to terminate employment for almost any reason. However, in certain industries and at certain levels an employer may offer an employment contract to a new worker that dictates their rights and obligations of the new position. An experienced employment attorney can help review and negotiate the terms of an employment contract to ensure that you are in the best possible position when beginning your new job. To learn more, talk to a knowledgeable employment lawyer in your area today.
Terms of Employment
One of the most common elements in an employment contract are the terms of employment. This can include the start date, workplace location, the length of employment, and more. This often also includes the new worker’s title and salary or wages for the position.
Employee Responsibilities and Performance
Responsibilities and performance expectations can also be included in an employment contract. This is what the employer expects from their new employee in exchange for payment and other benefits. It can include expected hours worked, specific projects or departments that the employee will manage, who reports to the new employee as well as who that employee reports to, and what performance metrics will be utilized to ensure that the job is being performed to the employer’s standards.
Employee Benefits and Premiums
An employment contract may also include additional employee benefits and premiums as part of the job. Most often this includes details on health insurance, life insurance, vision and dental benefits, disability and retirement plans, stock options, profit-sharing, and other benefits or premiums that are a part of accepting a position with the employer. Sometimes, these additional benefits are contingent on achieving certain benchmarks or goals, which would also be included in the employment contract.
Dispute Resolution Clause
An employment contract can also address how to handle disagreements between employer and employee with a dispute resolution clause. Oftentimes, this clause requires that the parties involved in the dispute use alternative dispute resolution techniques, such as mediation or arbitration, before taking a case to court.
Non-Disclosure and Non-Compete Clauses
Non-disclosure and non-compete clauses are also common in an employment contract, especially when the new employee will have access to information or be developing something of value for the employer. A non-disclosure agreement binds the employee from disclosing any valuable information or trade secrets to others, while a non-compete clause limits the ability for the worker to find employment at a similar company for a certain period of time and within a certain geographic area.
Severance Benefits and Employee Opportunity Limitations
Finally, an employment contract can also include terms for a severance package and what an employer can do to limit employee opportunities after leaving this position. While it may seem counterintuitive to include terms for when the employee will leave their new job, it can help set expectations for everyone involved from the outset of the new employer/employee relationship.
Talk to a Lawyer Today
If you are in need of legal assistance with a new employment contract, call or contact an experienced employment lawyer in your area today.