Employment contracts are complex documents. An employee who signs off on the contract may not know the ins and outs of the document, and there are several key components of an employee contract. The following items may seem self-explanatory, but they must be written, adjusted, and executed properly.
What are the Terms of Employment?
The terms of employment include salary, hourly pay, bonuses, and the length of the contract. A salaried executive or manager likely does not have a timeframe noted on their contract. Conversely, an independent contractor will likely have a specific duration listed that can be extended or will coincide with the completion of a project. In most cases, an indefinite contract is not terminated until one or both parties choose to end the relationship.
What are the Employee’s Responsibilities?
The employee’s responsibilities can become a point of contention. A contract should clearly explain what the employee must do. This means that the employee can point to extra responsibilities that are outside their contract and ask for more money. When a contract is open-ended, the employer can ask the employee to do anything without offering additional compensation.
How are Employee Benefits Outlined?
Employee benefits must be clearly defined in a contract. If employees have paid time off for holidays, that needs to be listed in the contract. Sick days, personal leave, and vacation time must also be included. The employee’s retirement plan must be outlined in the document, as well as any other benefits offered by the employer.
What are Ownership, Assignment, and Non-Disclosure Agreements?
A nondisclosure agreement is often used to prevent proprietary information from passing on to other companies. This agreement, however, should not be used to silence employees who may have witnessed wrongdoing. The contract might also include ownership and assignment clauses. Depending on the nature and business model of the company, patents obtained while under contract may be assigned to the business. The same is true of any intellectual property that may have been created on company time. If employees are uncomfortable signing away their rights to intellectual property, they may need to consult an employment lawyer.
Are Non-Compete Clauses Included?
Non-compete clauses are often used to prevent employees from working in the same industry after they leave the company or are terminated. These particular agreements might prevent workers from making a living, and an attorney may need to get involved. Anyone who is not comfortable signing a non-compete clause should consult with an employment lawyer about its implications.
What are the Grounds for Termination?
Grounds for termination should be clearly laid out so that both parties understand what is and is not acceptable. Additionally, New Jersey is an at-will employment state, meaning that both parties can terminate employment at any time. Therefore, the grounds for termination serve as a guideline for conduct within the confines of the office, work site, or other environments where the employee will work.
In like manner, the contract will likely include a dispute resolution clause that might call for arbitration or another alternative form of conflict resolution to be used if either party files a claim against the other.
South Jersey Employment Lawyers at The Law Offices of Leo B. Dubler, III, LLC Help Clients Understand Employee Contracts
Reach out to the South Jersey employment lawyers at The Law Offices of Leo B. Dubler, III, LLC for assistance with employment contract concerns. We encourage clients to read contracts carefully and ask for clarification when needed. Call us today at 856-235-7075 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Mount Laurel and Atlantic City, New Jersey, we assist employees throughout South Jersey, including Cherry Hill, Burlington County, and Camden County.