An employment contract is an agreement between an employer and an employer regarding the term of employment, ranging from a simple handshake to a lengthy, written contract. Regardless of the type of contract an employee takes part in, its terms will depend on what the employer and employee have agreed upon. Below are the different types of employee contracts everyone should know about:
At-Will Employment Contracts
Most employees in the United States are presumed to work at will, meaning they can quit at any time, and can be fired at any time, as long as the reason is not illegal (such as discrimination). Aside from the state of Montana, every state in the United States presumes at-will employment unless a contract states otherwise. For example, an employer and employee can agree on important details about the job in a contract without agreeing that the employee will have job security. More often than not, employees are asked to sign written employment agreements acknowledging that they will be employed at will.
- Written Contracts
A written contract is a document that sets form the terms of employment, whether it's an at-will contract, employer's right to fire, etc. Sometimes, written contracts include that an employee is obligated to stay with the company for a certain amount of time.
- Oral Contracts
An oral contract is simply an agreement that is spoken rather than written down. While just as enforceable as written contracts, they are much more difficult to prove if a dispute were to occur.
- Implied Contracts
An implied contract is one that has not been reduced to a formal document or even stated explicitly, but is instead implied from a combination of the employer’s oral and written statements and actions. Implied contracts usually include job security, tenure, and right to fire at will.
Whether you're an employer writing a contract or an employee who believes there has been a breach of contract, it's important to speak to an experienced civil litigation lawyer in California or whatever state you reside or work in. An attorney that caters to an individual state will be the most knowledgeable regarding state laws about contract issues and disputes.