We’ve all likely had to sign an employment contract at some point. Employment contracts can be found at all levels within companies- whether it’s an employee’s first job or they’ve spent years working to get to the top. Some might only quickly glance over their employment contracts without realizing their importance. These contracts can also seem like they’re intended only to benefit employers and outline the guidelines the employee must follow, but this isn’t true.
An employment contract sets employment terms and conditions for both you and your employer that need to be upheld. How can a contract protect your employee rights, and what should it contain? Bantle & Levy can help you understand what you need to know about employment contracts.
What Should Be in an Employment Contract?
An employment contract should include any relevant information regarding your employment. What exactly an employment contract should contain may vary depending on the position, but all employees should review their contracts carefully. For example, an executive’s contract will likely be more in-depth due to their position in the company. Your contract states what your employer expects of you, in addition to what you should expect of them.
Here are a few examples of important employment contract elements and how they protect you in the workplace.
One of the most important parts of any employment contract is that it provides guidelines for how you will be compensated. You give your employer your time and skills in return for payment, and you need guidelines regarding how your employer will compensate you. You need to know if you’re an hourly or salaried employee, when you’ll be paid, and have your wages detailed. You don’t want to take any chances when it comes to receiving the pay you worked for, and your contact can help ensure that the terms and conditions of your pay are clearly set.
In addition to compensation, employees also rely on the benefits their employer provides them. Employment contracts should provide an explanation of benefits, such as paid time off, retirement plans, and health insurance. If your benefits are listed in your employment contract, your employer has agreed to provide these for you.
New York is an at-will employment state, so employers have the right to terminate employees for any reason, at any time, and aren’t required to tell them the reason for the termination. However, some employers in New York may provide more specific guidelines for what qualifies an employee for termination. Having grounds for termination detailed in your employment contract may help protect you in the event that you’re wrongfully terminated in the future. Your contract may also include explaining any severance pay you may be entitled to if you’re terminated.
Employers are Required to Give Notice of Any Changes
Remember that you’re not the only one who needs to adhere to your employment contract – your employer needs to as well. However, that’s not to say that the terms and conditions can’t change. Your employer may need to change what you’ve both agreed to, but not without giving you notice first. If your employer’s actions and behaviors don’t comply with your contract, they may have breached it. A breach of contract should be taken seriously, and employees may be eligible to receive compensation in these situations.
Consult with an Experienced Employment Contract Attorney
At Bantle & Levy, we’re dedicated to protecting the rights of employees across New York City. We understand the ins and outs of employment contracts and how employees can use them to protect themselves. Employment contracts can sometimes be complicated, and our employee rights lawyers can help you through any difficulties.
If you’re having issues with an employment contract or need someone to negotiate on your behalf, contact us today.