The 411 of Employment Contracts


Employment Contracts — The Basics

  • Contract — an agreement between two or more parties in which an offer is made and accepted, or which creates and obligation to do or not to do specific things that are the subject of the agreement
  • Although a written contract is not always a necessity, written contracts are more easily enforced
  • Read and understand the fine print
  • You may need to hire a lawyer or other contract negotiator for this purpose
  • Most common contract dispute
  • Non-compete clauses

Beware Oral Agreements

  • Can lead to confusion or uncertainty of the contractual terms
  • Difficult to enforce
  • Some groups avoid written contracts and instead rely on verbal promises
  • Allows the group members greater flexibility

Written vs. Verbal Contracts

  • Oral contracts:
    • If you have discussed an arrangement and it is not in the written contract, it will be hard to enforce
  • Written Contracts:
    • More readily enforceable, but often very complicated
    • Contra Proferentem – if a contract clause appears ambiguous, it should be interpreted against the interest of the party that insisted on its inclusion in the contract
      • Does not apply when both parties wished to include the ambiguous clause
      • Courts more often side with corporations over individual

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