Contracts can make a lot of sense, but know what you’re getting into.
Under New York law, employment is considered to be at will. However, there are certain instances in which an employer and employee will have a written contract between them. Contracts will include such information as:
anticipated length of employment
potential grounds for termination of contract and any benefits due upon termination
job title, responsibilities
nondisclosure agreements, no compete agreements, no solicitation agreements
Additionally, employees who work at a business where they are represented by a union, a collective bargaining agreement may also exist. These agreements typically include procedures to file a grievance, policies regarding vacation and other leave time, benefits information, as well as wages and work hours. It is also important to note that employers, by state law, are required to make written offers to new employees, and written offers on an annual basis to current employees. These written offers are also considered contracts.
WHO BENEFITS FROM EMPLOYMENT CONTRACTS?
Employment contracts can benefit both employers and employees. Most contracts detail the responsibilities and expectations of both parties. While there are upsides to having an employment contract, there are also downsides. Generally speaking, employment contracts also include language about what happens when a disagreement or breach of contract occurs.
WHAT ARE THE UPSIDES OF EMPLOYMENT CONTRACTS?
For an employee, an employment contract allows him or her some job security. Provided the terms of the contract are not violated, the employee will know exactly how long their job is guaranteed. This means regardless of how poorly the business may be doing, the employee can count on being employed.
For an employer, having a contract in place allows them to properly budget employee salary, protects them from an employee leaving unexpectedly and in some cases, benefits including medical, retirement and disability.
WHAT ARE THE DOWNSIDES OF THE CONTRACT?
Employers who hire employees with a specific employment contract are often forced to keep that employee on regardless of the financial stability of the company. While there are specific conditions under which an employer may break an employment contract, there are typically penalties included.
For employees, an employment contract does not allow them the flexibility to accept better job offers should one come along.
WHAT HAPPENS IN THE EVENT OF A DISPUTE?
In the event there is a dispute between the employer and the employee, in most cases employment contracts specify how the dispute is to be resolved. In nearly all cases, this is done through a process known as arbitration. At Solomon Richman, P.C., our team of employment attorneys can help settle disputes that arise from employment contracts. Some contract disputes may result in litigation, and we are fully prepared to assist with litigation when necessary. Disputes may occur in the course of employment or because an employer has elected to release an employee from the job. Since most contracts are very specific about the causes that warrant terminating an employee under contract, disputes are common.
Whether you are an employer who is interested in developing a contract, or an employee who needs an employment contract reviewed, the employment attorneys at Solomon Richman, P. C. are available for consultation. Simply call us at (516) 437-6443 to schedule a consultation.