Employment Contracts in Indiana
An employment contract stipulates the terms of an employment relationship that both the employer and employee must agree to. It doesn’t necessarily need to be a written document; terms can be agreed upon with oral statements or implied by the behavior of the employer towards the employee.
Depending on your role, you may not need a written employment contract. They’re often reserved for management professionals or employees who have access to proprietary information. They can also be used to require more advance notice if an employee is difficult to replace, since employment is at-will in Indiana. In most cases, employees work under an implied contract and follow the terms of common law.
What’s Included in an Employment Contract?
Employers may use a contract to cover any number of employment matters. Some of the legal issues business owners can address with an employment agreement include:
- Salary and wages
- Bonus structures
- Employee benefits
- Schedule and responsibilities
- Noncompete agreements, which restrict the employee from working with competing businesses or stealing clients
- Nondisclosure agreements, which prohibit the employee from sharing confidential or sensitive information about the business
- Severance agreements, which address what will happen in the case of termination
An employer cannot include terms in a contract that constitute a violation of employment law. For example, a clause that asks employees to waive their right to workers’ compensation would be automatically void, since employers must pay for workers’ compensation under labor laws.
If one of the parties violates the terms of the contract, they are said to be in breach of contract. That gives the innocent party the right to terminate the contract or pursue civil litigation against the guilty party. During employment disputes, an employment attorney who has experience with business law can help employees get the compensation they deserve.
An agreement doesn’t have to be written to hold up in court. If your employer makes promises about a promotion based on additional work you’re doing but then fails to promote you, for example, you may be able to take action against them for violating your implied employment agreement.
When an Employee Should Hire an Employment Lawyer
If you suspect your employer is in breach of contract or has otherwise violated the law in a way that has caused you harm, you should seek legal advice from a law firm. Whether your employer is refusing to pay earned wages or you were a victim of wrongful termination, the lawyers at HKM Employment Attorneys LLP can provide the legal representation you need to take action against your employer. Our employment law attorneys have years of experience in employment litigation to take on small businesses and large corporations alike.
Visit our law office in Indianapolis for a consultation. We’re happy to discuss your concerns and provide you with the legal services you need.