Whether written, verbal, or implied, an employment contract outlines the terms of an agreement between an employer and a worker. It could potentially include provisions like a non-compete agreement or a severance package should the employee be let go. But what happens when an employer does not honor the terms of the original agreement?
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is an at-will employment state, meaning a worker can be terminated at any time without a given reason. As such, most businesses don’t bother with employment contracts. But if you are in a situation where you signed an employment agreement before starting a job, then you are in a position to fight back if your employer did not honor those terms.
On the other hand, if you are starting a new position and your employer requests that you sign a contract, then you should reach out to an attorney before you sign. Ideally, employment contracts are made to protect the interests of both the employer and the employee.
But within the legalese, there could be terms that go against your best interests as an employee. The contract could:
- Expose you to unfair changes in your role, place of work, or even compensation
- Restrict your ability to work for a competitor for a set amount of time
- Deprive you of certain entitlements or benefits
No matter if you’re dealing with an employer who won’t honor a contract, or you’re unsure whether to sign an agreement with your new job, a competent employment contracts lawyer in Boston can help.
From resolving disputes to filing claims against unfair terms, the lawyers at HKM Employment Attorneys have years of experience helping workers get the rights, treatment, and compensation they deserve. Let us act as your legal counsel before signing an employment contract or if you find yourself stuck in an unfair deal. We’ll work with you to ensure your best interests are met.
What Is Included in an Employment Contract?
An employment contract will likely contain details about your job duties and responsibilities, expectations and conduct, compensation, start dates of employment, and contract termination conditions.
You should be aware that by signing an employment contract, you could also be agreeing to some unfavorable terms. You should verify that you agree to the following items before signing a contract:
Terms: It is important to know the grounds for engagement and termination of the contract before you start the job.
Job description: You should request a clearly defined job description, as it prevents you from feeling misled or overloaded.
Restrictive covenants: A non-compete clause can prevent you from pursuing individual projects even after you sever ties with your employer. Some contracts offer a form of compensation during this period and will likely stipulate how long you are restricted from working for competitors.
Compensation: In addition to your salary or hourly payment, the contract may also outline bonus structures, insurance benefits, or severance packages.
When Should You Ask for an Employment Contract?
Employment contracts are the exception, not the rule when it comes to working in Boston. This means that it is more likely that you won’t be asked to sign or provide one at all. Some companies use the offer letter as a type of contract, where the employee is asked to send back a signed version of it to show that they agree to the salary and terms listed within the letter.
If you’re an employee who is working with a company on a temporary basis or for a business that harbors a lot of trade secrets, then it is more likely that an employment contract will be introduced. In these situations, it is in the best interests of both parties to explicitly state the length of the working relationship, grounds for termination, and any non-compete or non-disclosure stipulations that could affect the hiring decision.
When Should Employees Hire An Employment Contract Lawyer?
When there is an unsettled employment dispute, then an employment contract lawyer can help resolve the issue and ensure you get the compensation you deserve. Some common work disputes include:
- You were fired from employment unfairly or prematurely
- You were discriminated against by the employer
- The employer retaliated against you after you filed a complaint
- You’re concerned that the contract restricts your rights
- Your employer violates any state laws that protect employee affairs
- Your employer is guilty of a breach of contract
If any of the scenarios mentioned above sound similar to your case, then an employment contracts lawyer in Boston can help. With knowledge and experience in Massachusetts employment law, the legal representatives at HKM Employment Attorneys can act as your advocates when filing a claim against your current or former employer.
When Should You Hire An Employment Contract Lawyer as An Employer?
Employment contract lawyers don’t just help employees. Boston business owners who are in the process of drafting a contract for current or future employees should seek legal guidance from an attorney familiar with both federal and state employment laws.
Your lawyer will help ensure that the terms and conditions outlined in the employment contract are both fair to your employees and legally enforceable should an issue arise in the future.
Consult with a Boston Employment Contracts Lawyer Today
Reach out to the Boston team at HKM Employment Attorneys today to discuss your employment contract questions and concerns. Using years of experience in employment law, we can offer legal assistance with any dispute involving anything from non-compete agreements and severance packages to harassment and discrimination. To get started on your case, schedule an initial consultation with one of our team members.