A position in which the terms of the job are defined in a contract is a contract job. The legally binding contract is signed by both the employee and the employer before the employee begins working, and it is important for employees to fully understand all the fine print before agreeing to the contract and signing. A contract job may be associated with an employment agency or independent contract work, and the terms of employment for this position may be different than that of a non-contracted employee. The Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations oversees employment claims, enforces labor laws, and handles many other issues within the state. If you have questions regarding your current employment or a contract that you are about to sign before working, an attorney can help clear up any potential confusion and ensure that what you are about to sign does not contain any large surprises, as well as ensure that your employer is following all of Missouri’s employment laws.
Overviewing an Employment Contract
Your employment contract should clearly define all the terms of your employment as a contract employee, and may include the following:
- Duration of employment;
- Obligation to protect trade secrets after leaving the company;
- Non-compete clause;
- Your ownership of documents, knowledge, or other items that were created during your employment;
- Your responsibilities;
- Benefits, such as your healthcare insurance, sick days, vacation days, and other benefits;
- Methods of resolving disputes between you and your employer;
- Reasons why your employer can terminate you; and
- Whether or not your position is at-will.
Missouri, like many states, is an at-will employment state, according to the Missouri Department of Labor, which means that an employer can fire an employee at any time for any reason, unless there is a contract that outlines the terms of termination to the contrary, or there has been discrimination that violates Missouri civil law. As such, many contracts outline terms of termination, and your position may be safe from termination unless you have violated the contract, such as falling behind at work, frequently showing up late, turning out low quality projects, or whatever may be in your specific employment contract. On the other hand, if an employee wishes to leave the company before the contracted time is up, the contract may prohibit him or her from doing so without some sort of ramification. A contract protects both the employee and the employer, and it is necessary to fully comprehend all the content in an employment contract before agreeing to it.
Call a St. Louis Employment Lawyer Today for Help
We strongly urge you to talk to a lawyer before signing any employment contract that you have questions about or that contains a lot of confusing jargon and small print. Some contracts are not only poorly written, but may have unfair terms written into them that are designed to catch potential employees unaware and lock them into an agreement that is unbeneficial or exploitative. Our St. Louis HKM Employment Attorneys can help you review your contract and resubmit it for changes as you see fit. Call us today.