Why You Need Written Agreements with Employees

Categories: blog

Employment Contracts in Florida

Whether you’re hiring a director of finance; or staffing up a large regional office, you want to develop a systematic way to train and retain your workers. A well-designed, written contract can spell out key terms, preempt disputes, and provide a smart structure to the working relationship.

You probably do not need a written contract for every employee you hire, but you should develop an understanding of what contracts can do and how they are typically structured.

Elements Often Included in Written Employment Contracts

The contract should describe what the employee will do for your company and how you will compensate the worker. Depending on your circumstances and concerns, the document can specific the following:

• How long the job will last (e.g. 6 weeks, 5 years, forever, etc);
• Whether the employee will obtain benefits, such as disability and health insurance, vacation time, etc;
• What the worker’s responsibilities will be;
• What would be considered grounds for termination of the relationship;
• How/whether you will own the products that the employee produces for you;
• Some mechanism to help you protect your list of clients and company’s trade secrets;
• A pre-thought-out system for resolving disputes about the contract.

Hiring and firing can be tricky business, even if you possess a solid contract which has been vetted by an experienced employment law attorney who knows your industry well. Simply “having a contract” doesn’t shield you from all human resources challenges, such as claims of hiring discrimination. But the document should provide more than a modicum of protection.

When Contracts Are Especially Useful

• You want to prevent a worker from suddenly leaving your business. For instance, recruiting and training a replacement can be extremely costly. In the contract, you could ask the employee to provide the company with 90 days’ prior notice before leaving. While you obviously cannot compel an employee who does not want to work for you to continue performing, you can make the breach of your contract unpleasant and thereby disincentivize such behavior.
• You have confidential trade secrets or other materials that you want to protect. In this case, you can insert clauses into the contract that will stop the worker from sharing your secrets with competitors or using them for his or her own gain.
• You want to incentivize “A players” to join your team by sweetening the pot.
• You want to crystalize employee standards to make performance reviews objective. When you can quantify an employee’s performance — specify the numbers that you want him or her to achieve, you and the employee can enjoy more accurate, and less emotionally driven conversations about performance.

Designing a Written Employment Law Contract for Your Needs

It takes years of experience to understand how to design and leverage employment contracts effectively. Connect with our employment law team today to develop a sound, creative solution for your contract needs. Call us 407 407-8035-5400 or connect online to set up your free case review.

By Nathan McCoy