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Understanding the different types of employment contracts

September 22, 2016

In many cases, high-ranking executives at companies and corporations will enter into an employment contract to guarantee the terms of their employment. These agreements can be as simple as a handshake, or a lengthy written agreement that spells out the terms of employment in great detail. In many instances, to protect your rights, or if you feel your existing rights have been violated, you will want to seek the services of an employment contract attorney to protect your interests.

Here’s a closer look at the types of employment contracts

At-Will employment. This is the most common form of employment in the United States and the one with the loosest rules. At-will means that a person can quit at any time or be fired at any time, as long as the reasons are not illegal, such as for age or race discrimination. At-will employment is assumed unless another form of employment contract is put in place.

Written contracts. A written contract more formally sets the terms of a person’s employment. It can define a specific employment period or limit the reasons that a person can be released from their employment. Unless that employment is based onactivities that may be deemed illegal or unethical, such as committing fraud, embezzlement or theft.

Oral contracts. Similar to a written contract, an oral contract is one that is spoken rather than written. If a person is called and offered a job with specific terms, and the employee accepts, this is considered an oral contract. While just as enforceable as a written contract, oral contracts can be much harder to prove, for obvious reasons.

Implied contracts. This is perhaps thefuzziest of all employment contracts because terms are not explicitly stated, they are implied. The implied contract generally is a reflection of a company’s ongoing human resources policies, such as regular raises and promotions. An employee handbook will often times overrule implied contracts as the final arbiter of what is acceptable.

The Law Office of Christopher Kalis serves Dallas, Fort Worth, Plano and surrounding Texas communities.