The benefits and enforcement of employment contracts

Employment contracts can address important uses and benefits, but it is also important to know what to do if an employment contract has been breached. Not all employment relationships have an employment contract and, in fact, many may not. Many employment relationships are referred to as "at-will" employment, which permits an employer to terminate an employee for any reason that is not against the law and does not place restrictions on an employee, such as a non-compete agreement or non-disclosure agreement would.

When an employment contract is in place, it typically includes the nature of the employee's work-related responsibilities and employee's salary. In general, employment contracts can include: the responsibilities of the employee; the term of employment; the benefits the employee will receive; policies concerning vacation and sick leave; grounds for termination; covenants not to compete; a non-disclosure agreement; an ownership agreement; an assignment clause; and a method for resolving disputes, should any arise.

There are advantages to both parties to have an employment contract, which can protect both parties, but if the parties do not conduct themselves in good faith or abide by the terms of the contract, a breach of contract situation may arise. In the event of a breach of contract, an employee will likely want to know how to handle the situation and enforce the contract or seek damages. The employer may have similar concerns, depending on the circumstances.

Employment agreements are important in many employment settings, which is why employees should generally be familiar with them. In addition, employees who have an employment contract and believe it has been breached should be familiar with how to enforce an employment contract or seek damages for its breach should the need arise.

Source:, "Pros and Cons of Written Employee Contracts," Accessed Sept. 4, 2017

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