Cain & Kiel Law

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Do I need a contract for new hires?

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The success of your business is something for which you have worked hard. However, with more business comes added responsibility. Among those responsibilities may be hiring more employees to learn about your brand or your particular way of offering a service.

Bringing new workers into the company may also bring questions about protecting your brand, preventing misunderstandings and reducing the possibility of legal trouble. Perhaps you are considering implementing an employee contract to accomplish these goals.

What should my contract include?

An employee contract can go a long way in protecting your business. You will be able to train your employees well, knowing they've committed to staying until the contract expires. You can also protect any company secrets or client lists that are the heart of your business. Your contract can include the expectations you have for your workers, allowing you to control the quality of your product by eliminating workers who don't meet the standards in their contracts. Some of the elements in a typical contract may include:

  • The duration of employment
  • Policies for vacation, sick days and employee responsibilities
  • Grounds for disciplinary action or termination
  • Non-compete and nondisclosure agreements
  • Procedures for dispute resolution

Of course, employment contracts have drawbacks, too. You may hire someone whom you think will be the model employee, but who turns out to be a slacker. If the employee has a contract, it may be difficult to fire him or her. Additionally, offering a contract means you must live up to your side of the deal or risk a lawsuit for breach of contract.

Where do I find answers to my questions?

If you decide that an employee contract is something you want to use to protect your interests, you certainly have a lot to consider. The type of business you are running, the amount of responsibility you expect to give your employees and numerous other factors will determine the complexity of your contract. You don't want to overcomplicate matters, but you want to cover as many contingencies as possible.

In addition to drafting employee contracts, you may have questions about other steps you can take to avoid legal disputes and ensure the longevity of your company. Relying on the recommendations and guidance of an attorney will provide you with a decided advantage. You can look to your attorney's years of experience for sound advice. Additionally, you will have the representation of a dedicated advocate if you ever face a legal dispute.

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