The world of corporate America is quite familiar with the employee agreement, also known as an employee contract. They are used from every level of employment, from the mail room to the board of directors. They are often governed by the corporate constitution or corporate bylaws, or sometimes both. Many people don’t realize that they are even signing an employee agreement when they are hired but they are often embedded in the average employment application or they are signed on the first day of work when most people fill out tax forms and other paperwork. Let’s take a look at what goes into the average employee agreement.
In most cases, an employment agreement is a brief contract that simply outlines the basics of a job, what you’ll make and what you have to do to get fired. It is only when the job begins to add zeros at the end of the salary that the average employment agreement begins to multiply in pages. When you think about a professional athlete’s employment contract that he or she has with a pro sports team, images of dictionary sized contracts that stretch for hundreds of pages come to mind with clauses to cover every conceivable instance that could come up. Employment agreements like these only exist for the highest of high rollers, but they are a necessary part of corporate life in the 21st century.
One part of an employment contract that many people overlook is the part spelling out benefits, not just wages. For some companies, this part of the contract is simply copied and pasted from a template to reflect what all employees at that level receive as benefits, but if you are a CEO or if the position you have is completely unique, that part of the contract will have to be crafted by hand and made especially for that person.
There can also be a part of your employment agreement that takes about reimbursement of expenses. Again, this isn’t a part of a contract that a mail room employee would have to worry about, but if your job is going to be taking you to the far reaches of the globe, you will want to have the procedure for things like this written directly into your contract.
Sometimes, employees can have special clauses written directly into their employment contract that are needed because their job is utterly and completely unique. Of course, crafting individual contracts can be a great expense to any corporation, even if you have your own team of on-staff lawyers, so, in most cases, templates are used whenever possible.
Employment contracts can also have special clauses or conditions inserted in them by the employer. Things like performance guidelines or personal conduct requirements can be written in and are usually quite legal although they can obviously be challenged by an employee if he or she feels that they are unfair.
The world of employment agreements is an interesting one that is constantly changing and evolving.