Draft Employment Contract

Clients Rate Lawyers on our Platform 4.9/5 Stars
based on 2,788 reviews

Jump to Section

Need help with an Employment Contract?

Post Project Now

Post Your Project (It's Free)

Get Bids to Compare

 Hire Your Lawyer

How Do You Draft an Employment Contract?

An employment contract is a necessary agreement signed by employer and employee that outlines the period of employment, obligations of both parties, and various rights and responsibilities of the company and employee.

There are many benefits of employment contracts :

  • They set expectations and standards
  • They reduce liability risks
  • They offer legal protection for both parties

You can learn how to write an employment contract in this post. You can also contact a lawyer for employment contract to help with an employment contract review to ensure your document includes all the most important details and legal language.

What is a Standard Employment Contract?

A standard employment contract is a legal document between an employer and employee that outlines the scope of their relationship. This includes the rights and responsibilities of both parties and any benefits the employee will receive in addition to their regular compensation.

The terms of employment in a standard employment contract establish performance expectations and standards for the employee.

The employment contract can also reduce liability risks for the employer by reserving the right to terminate employment at any time.

A standard employment contract in the United States is an at-will contract. This means the employee agrees to perform a job independently. The employer can terminate them for any reason except for discrimination.

All U.S. states except Montana use at-will contracts as their standard employment contract. In Montana, after a mandatory probation period or at least six months of employment, employers can only terminate an employee with just cause.

Here is an article where you can learn more about employment contracts and what they cover.

What Are the 4 Types of Employment Contracts?

The four most common types of employment contracts are:

1. Permanent Employment Contract

This contract establishes an indefinite period of employment between an employer and employee. Employees with permanent contracts can work full-time or part-time, and they are entitled to receive benefits such as:

  • Health insurance
  • Life insurance
  • Retirement contributions
Meet some lawyers on our platform

John P.

7 projects on CC
View Profile

Gregory F.

2 projects on CC
View Profile

Michael M.

9 projects on CC
View Profile

Michael K.

58 projects on CC
View Profile

2. Fixed-term Employment Contract

A fixed term is a defined employment period with a specific start and end date. Employees with fixed-term employment may be hired seasonally or for a particular project.

They generally do not receive any benefits beyond financial compensation. Their contract ends as soon as the time period ends, or they achieve a set goal.

3. Casual Employment Contract

A casual employment contract is for employees whose hours are not set. They may work a certain number of hours, but their schedule could change depending on the business’s needs.

4. Zero-hour Employment Contract

A zero-hour employment contract is rare, but it omits any required number of hours for an employee to work. While this may seem odd, it is mainly done to reduce liability risks for the employer.

Under a zero-hour contract, they are not legally obligated to provide any work to the employee, meaning they do not also have to guarantee benefits or a fixed salary.

You may see a zero-hour employment contract when someone hires someone as-needed. However, these contracts are less likely to be used when the independent contractor and freelancer agreements are available.

Here is an article to learn more about types of employment contracts.

What Must a Job Contract Include?

There are several key elements you should always include when writing an employment contract.

  • Wages/salary: Specify how much the employee is entitled to, per hour or annually. Outline pay periods and payment methods, such as a bank check or direct deposit. Include any bonuses the employee may receive as part of their compensation package.
  • Benefits: Additional benefits, such as health insurance, must be included in the contract—terms for coverage and deductions. If the employee is eligible for bonuses, explain how they will be administered. If this is the case, set a quota for performance measurement.
  • Schedule: The employment contract should include a work schedule for the employee, including the minimum and a maximum number of hours they can work. Events such as holidays, overtime, and paid time off should also be included.
  • Length of employment: The work period is either fixed or indefinite, full-time or part-time. The contract should specify the time the employee agrees to perform their job for the company and the options for renewal at the end of their contract.
  • Confidentiality: Some employers may have employees sign a nondisclosure agreement or confidentiality agreement. These can be included as an amendment to the employment contract. The contract itself should also include a statement of confidentiality requirements and any additional documents the employee will sign.
  • Noncompete clause: The employment contract can prevent the employee from working with a business competitor for a set amount of time after their employment contract ends or termination. This can also prevent the employee from leaving their job before their contract and working for a competitor.

Here is an article to learn more about the terms of employment and details to include in your contract.

Which Employees Should Sign an Employment Contract?

All employees should sign an employment contract unless they are a 1099 independent contractor or freelancer. Having a freelancer sign an employment contract changes the obligations for the employer, including the requirement to offer additional benefits and a salary.

Signing an employment contract is important to establishing a healthy working relationship. However, even if the employee and employer know each other personally, their professional relationship should be treated independently.

Many employees work under an implied employment contract. Their general terms follow federal, state, and local employment laws.


Implied contracts can still carry legal ramifications, but they are harder to enforce than signed documents. Employers also have less protection themselves if they do not offer employee contracts.

Without an employee contract, the employer cannot enforce work hours, confidentiality or prevent employees from working with or for direct competitors.

Here is an article with examples of implied employment in the workplace.

How Much Does It Cost to Draft an Employment Contract?

If you are wondering, “ What does an employment contract cost ?” the answer varies by lawyer and detail of the contract. However, the average employment contract costs $465.57. The final cost will depend on the employer’s needs, the scope of the contract, and the terms and variables within the agreement.

You can contact a lawyer for employee contract drafting or review after you write one yourself.

Working with an employment lawyer can also help you draft a general template that you can use for all your hiring needs going forward.

Here is an article with an example of an employment contract template.

Do I Need a Lawyer to Draft an Employment Contract?

If you have never written a legal document before or are unsure if your employment contract template covers all the legal requirements, you may wish to consult with a lawyer.

Lawyers can review employment contracts after negotiation or before submission. They can also help employees protect themselves from exploitation if they are unsure about the contents of a contract.

Here is an article with more information on employment law and what it entails.

Post a project in ContractsCounsel’s marketplace to receive flat fee bids from lawyers for your project. All lawyers have been vetted by our team and peer-reviewed by our customers for you to explore before hiring.

How ContractsCounsel Works
Hiring a lawyer on ContractsCounsel is easy, transparent and affordable.
1. Post a Free Project
Complete our 4-step process to provide info on what you need done.
2. Get Bids to Review
Receive flat-fee bids from lawyers in our marketplace to compare.
3. Start Your Project
Securely pay to start working with the lawyer you select.

Meet some of our Lawyers

ralph s. on ContractsCounsel
View ralph
Member Since:
October 31, 2021

ralph s.

Attorney
Free Consultation
Get Free Proposal
Gainesville FL
11 Yrs Experience
Licensed in DC, FL, MA
University of Florida Levin College of Law

Ralph graduated from University of Florida with his JD as well as an LLM in Comparative Law. He has a Master's in Law from Warsaw University , Poland (summa cum laude) and holds a diploma in English and European Law from Cambridge Board of Continuous Education. Ralph concentrates on business entity formation, both for profit and non profit and was trained in legal drafting. In his practice he primarily assists small to medium sized startups and writes tailor made contracts as he runs one of Florida disability non profits at the same time. T l Licensed. in Florida Massachusetts and Washington DC this attorney speaks Polish.

Christopher B. on ContractsCounsel
View Christopher
Member Since:
November 1, 2021

Christopher B.

Attorney
Free Consultation
Get Free Proposal
Charleston, SC
9 Yrs Experience
Licensed in SC
Charleston School of Law

Former litigator now focusing on transactional business work

Rodrigo M. on ContractsCounsel
View Rodrigo
Member Since:
November 2, 2021

Rodrigo M.

Attorney
Free Consultation
Get Free Proposal
Mexico City
11 Yrs Experience
Licensed in AK
Instituto Tecnologico Autonomo de Mexico

Mexican Lawyer specialized in Corporate, Fintech and Financial Law

John P. on ContractsCounsel
View John
Member Since:
November 5, 2021

John P.

Attorney
Free Consultation
Get Free Proposal
Seattle, Washington
3 Yrs Experience
Licensed in WA
University of Akron

As a veteran software engineer from international blue chip corporations, I focus on legal aspects for regulated and technical businesses. My legal experience includes civil litigation, intellectual property guidance, and market competition, at both private practice as well as Federal and State institutions.

Jessica P. on ContractsCounsel
View Jessica
Member Since:
November 8, 2021

Jessica P.

Attorney
Free Consultation
Get Free Proposal
Safety Harbor, FL
2 Yrs Experience
Licensed in FL
Stetson University College of Law

Ms. Penovich partners with clients to overcome complex challenges and find innovative solutions. Ms. Penovich has served as General Counsel at J.W. Cole and an Adjunct Professor of Estate Planning at the MUMA College of Business at the University of South Florida. She is a member of the Florida Bar, and has over 15 years of progressive financial services experience developed at top-tier financial firms including Transamerica, Raymond James, and Citi.

Josiah Y. on ContractsCounsel
View Josiah
Member Since:
November 9, 2021

Josiah Y.

Managing Shareholder of The Law Office of Josiah Young, PC
Free Consultation
Get Free Proposal
Sacramento, California
9 Yrs Experience
Licensed in CA, NY
American University Washington College of Law

Attorney licensed to practice in both California and New York, Josiah is focused on helping people understand what's in their contracts, and do business with confidence.

Natalie A. on ContractsCounsel
View Natalie
Member Since:
November 12, 2021

Natalie A.

Commercial Counsel
Free Consultation
Get Free Proposal
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
16 Yrs Experience
Licensed in AK
Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, Quebec - LLB Civil Law

I am an experienced in house counsel and have worked in the pharmaceutical, consumer goods and restaurant industry. I have experience with a variety of agreements, below is a non-exhaustive list of types of agreements I can help with: Supply Agreements Distribution Agreements Manufacture Agreements Service Agreements Employment Agreements Consulting Agreements Commercial and residential lease agreements Non-compete Agreements Confidentiality and Non-Disclosure Agreements Demand Letters Termination notice Notice of breach of contract My experience as in house counsel has exposed me to a wide variety of commercial matters for which I can provide consulting and assistance on. I have advised US, Canadian and International entities on cross-functional matters and have guided them when they are in different countries and jurisdictions as their counterparties. I can provide assistance early on in a business discussion to help guide you and make sure you ask the right questions even before the commercial agreement needs to be negotiated, but if you are ready to put a contract in place I can most definitely help with that too.

Jeff C. on ContractsCounsel
View Jeff
Member Since:
November 16, 2021

Jeff C.

Attorney
Free Consultation
Get Free Proposal
Denver, Colorado
36 Yrs Experience
Licensed in CO
Creighton University

Jeff Colerick has been practicing law for over 30 years and has devoted his professional career to providing clients with intelligent representation and personal care. His experience as a lawyer involving complex matters has resulted in a long history of success. Jeff has built a practice based on a deep understanding of real estate assets and corporate activities. He combines his industry knowledge with a practical and collaborative approach to problem solving. Jeff’s client relationships are strong because they are built on mutual respect. Jeff talks the language of real estate and understands that it is a vehicle to deliver your business strategy. Jeff provides practical, responsive, and strategic advice related to real estate acquisition, construction, leasing, and sale of a wide range of real property types, including office, retail, medical, industrial, industrial flex-space, mixed-use condominium, multifamily and hospitality. As leader of the Goodspeed Merrill real estate practice group, Jeff represents clients with commercial and residential transactions, purchases and sales, land acquisition and development, real estate investment and financing, financing liens and security interests, and commercial leasing and lease maintenance, including lease enforcement support and advice. The firm represents clients in matters concerning construction, lending, developers, contractors and subcontractors, cell site leasing, property and boundary disputes, common interest community law, and residential condominiums and planned communities.

Harrison K. on ContractsCounsel
View Harrison
Member Since:
November 16, 2021

Harrison K.

Attorney and Executive
Free Consultation
Get Free Proposal
Los Angeles
27 Yrs Experience
Licensed in CA, MD
California Western School of Law

Harrison Kordestani is an executive with over twenty-five years experience in entertainment and media, energy, technologies, and start-ups. Mr. Kordestani has also developed a specialized legal and strategic consulting practice representing select entertainment, oil and gas, mortgage lending, and technology start-up clientele. He is also deeply passionate about new technologies and has also actively worked in building companies in the video-on-demand, wearable tech, information of things, demand prediction and app-marketing spaces. As an attorney, Mr. Kordestani's focus has been on transactional drafting and negotiation and providing ongoing legal counsel, corporate compliance, and contract interpretation to numerous private individuals as well as companies in varied fields.

Moss S. on ContractsCounsel
View Moss
Member Since:
November 17, 2021

Moss S.

Attorney
Free Consultation
Get Free Proposal
Boca Raton, FL
34 Yrs Experience
Licensed in FL, MA, RI
Suffolk Law School

Over 30 years of experience practicing commercial real estate and complex business litigation law.

Find the best lawyer for your project

Browse Lawyers Now

Want to speak to someone?

Get in touch below and we will schedule a time to connect!

Request a call