Basic Guideline for Drafting Employment Contracts

In the eyes of the law, whatever you establish in writing is far more valuable than verbal promises. A person can go back on his/her spoken words, but cannot deny what has been signed on paper. The relationship between an employer and an employee is a formal and delicate one, which is why sealing it with an elaborate legal contract is the smart and right choice. Employment contracts are legally binding, thus obligating both sides to abide by the documented prerequisites. If either party attempts to defy or breach the provisions of the contract, the other has the right to take legal action and put them in their place. Civil Litigation Attorney in Fort Lauderdale, FL, claims that employers who rely on incomplete or poorly drafted work-related contracts are prone to be targeted by legal claims and lawsuits.

Many startup entrepreneurs depend on readymade employment contracts that can be downloaded from the internet free of charge. While this kind of generic document is convenient, it is not necessarily ideal for your business structure. It may contain provisions that do not apply to your line of work and may not cover aspects that are integral to your core operations. Not every business is the same, which is why DIY legal resources are a risky affair. Hiring a professional contract attorney is in the best of your interests if have no idea how employment contracts work and legal lingo makes little sense to you. Here are a number of basics that need to be considered for drafting employment contracts:

Job Responsibilities

Not every employer has identical expectations from the person hired for a particular position. For instance, if you hire a personal assistant at the office, he/she needs to be fully aware of all the duties that come with the job. Do they simply have to schedule office meetings and take calls on your behalf, or is coffee runs and making dinner reservations part of their agenda? All the responsibilities of the employee can be formally laid out in the contract, so he/she cannot later complain about undertaking tasks that were clearly mentioned in the document they signed.

Most marketing firms expect their staff to hit a certain target for the month. This shall be stated in the contract, so the employees can adequately set their pace. If a candidate for the job is not comfortable with its obligations, he/she can withdraw at the initial stage of recruitment, rather than raising concerns later on and creating a hassle for both sides. When the worker truly understands what the employer is looking for, the probability of conflicts or misunderstandings diminishes.

Pay, Bonuses, and Other Allowances

The worker’s salary and other benefits in exchange for dedicating their services to your company are of utmost importance. The people who work for you are doing so for the money after all, and additional perks help make them happy whilst procuring their loyalty. Whether you are going to provide a fixed monthly wage, pay by the hour, or include commissions, the specifics of the payables must be documented. This shall help avoid confusion for making calculations or deductions at the time of payment. Similarly, communicating the terms for increment and abstractions are equally significant for averting objections.

Leaves and Compensation

The number of sick and casual leaves allowed per month or annually should be included in the contract. If the employee is expected to issue an application or notification for the leave, let it be known. Almost all states in the U.S require employers to purchase a minimum worker’s compensation insurance package. Worker’s compensation primarily pays for lost wages and medical expenses if the employee gets injured/ill at work, rendering them incapable of resuming duties temporarily or permanently. You can include prerequisites in the employment contract, which clearly define the circumstances that shall and shall not be entertained by the compensation policy. This way the worker cannot claim reimbursement for expenses that are not relevant to the company’s policy.

Employment Duration and Extermination

The majority of company owners in the U.S hire staff without a predefined employment duration agreement. This means that the workers are ‘at will employees’ who can be laid off any time, with or without cause. If you want the employee to work under you for a specific period, the employment contract must denote this clause. You can also mention probable causes for a sudden termination or extension. If the worker wishes to resign, the contract can obligate them to provide prior notice and vice versa. This helps mitigate an abrupt shock or financial setback to either party.

Matters of Confidentiality

Protection of material and intellectual property of the business is compulsory for preserving its success and integrity. If the employee has partial or complete access to confidential information and assets, you must guarantee that they do not exploit or misuse it. Your employment contract must include articles that swear them to secrecy, and warn them to face legal implications otherwise.

Workplace Rules & Ethics

Maintaining a safe and nourishing working environment is the key to a flourishing business. You are unlikely to face legal claims and lawsuits, as long as your employees are satisfied. Address all sorts of workplace issues related to discrimination, harassment, assault, and retaliation in your employment contracts. Incorporate strict policies against unethical and unlawful behavior at the workplace.

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