How To Write an Employment Contract:
8 Steps to Follow

Clients Rate Lawyers on our Platform 4.9/5 Stars
based on 4,036 reviews

Jump to Section

Need help with an Employment Contract?

CREATE A FREE PROJECT POSTING
Post Project Now

What Is a Written Employment Contract?

An employment contract, or an employment agreement, is a legal document used to set standards for employees while working at a company and reduce employers’ employment liability risks. It is signed by both the employee and the employer and outlines the rights, responsibilities and obligations of both parties during the term of employment.

Employment contracts can be implied, oral, or written, involving a lengthy physical contract that the employee signs. The contract reflects the agreed upon terms when the employee decided that they would take a position.

Here is more on employment contracts .

How To Write an Employment Contract – Step by Step

There are a few elements common to an employment contract. These are the steps you should take to write your own employment contract:

  1. Add employment title : Provide a title to your employment contract. This could be something like “employment agreement” or “[company name] employment contract”.
  2. Party identification : Identify the parties involved in the employment contract. This should also be followed by providing basic information about both parties and the name of the business where the employment will be taking place.
  3. Add terms and conditions : You should list the minimum terms and conditions required by the position, often laid out by federal, state and local government. This would involve things like vacation pay, severance pay and work hours. Beyond this you should also mention company policy regarding vacation days, sick days, benefits, dress code, etc.
  4. Describe job responsibilities : To prevent any surprises on either part, your employment contract should clearly lay out duties and responsibilities associated with the job. For instance, if you’re hiring for a barista position, you could include that the job would require client-interaction, customer service, coffee-making, cleaning coffee stations, managing online orders, etc.
  5. Provide compensation details : You should state the compensation provided for the job in your contract in a clear and direct manner. You should include details regarding the way in which the employee will be compensation–hourly/weekly/salary or commission. You should also explain how overtime will be calculated based on the employee’s status as exempt or non-exempt. Other details would include information about holiday pay, paid time off, method of payment, bonuses, etc.
  6. Outline contract terms : Consider adding other terms of the agreement to your contract. Some common clauses used in employment contracts are non-solicitation , privacy, probationary, failsafe and non-compete . Non-solicitation clause bans the employee from soliciting customers and from leaving the company. Privacy clause lays down privacy-expectations regarding employer-issued electronics and email. Probationary clause gives the employer the right to terminate an employee within a specific period of time without notice. Failsafe clause confirms that the employer will not provide anything less than employment standards. The non-compete clause prohibits employees from competing with their employers for a specific period of time.
  7. Consult a lawyer : Before you send out your employment contract, it is advisable to consult an employment lawyer who is an expert in the local, state and national employment laws, rights and standards to ensure your contract meets set standards.
  8. Provide the contract to your employee : You should send your employment contract to your employee. The employee will then read and negotiate or sign on to the agreement, making it effective.

Learn about employment contract costs .

Meet some lawyers on our platform

Zachary J.

53 projects on CC
View Profile

Wendy C.

2 projects on CC
View Profile

Don G.

27 projects on CC
View Profile

Jane C.

105 projects on CC
View Profile

What Should Be Included in an Employment Contract?

An employment contract generally includes the following sections:

  • Duration of employment: Your employment contract should contain details about the duration of employment, if it is an independent contract or a salaried position. If the employment is a salaried full-time position with minimum commitment requirements, you should also mention that.
  • Salary or wages: Mention the exact compensation provided for the job.
  • General job responsibilities : Lay out general job opportunities
  • Work schedule : You should mention the work-schedule the employee is expected to work.
  • Benefits : Mention benefits provided by the company.
  • Confidentiality : Adding a confidentiality clause ensures that the employee doesn’t disclose confidential information used by the business.
  • Severance pay : You should mention the severance pay offered by the company.
  • Termination details : The contract should include termination details such as notice period and circumstances that allow instant termination.
  • Effective date : You should include the exact date when the agreement begins.
  • Notice : Your contract should include the time period taken by the company to process any legal action by mail or email whenever any notice is received.
  • Dispute process : Mention that the dispute process such as mandatory arbitration or discrepancy will be handled in a court of law.
  • Applicable law : Mention the country, state and local laws that would apply to the interpretation of the employment contract through a governing law clause .
  • Signatures : Your contract should be signed by all parties to be effective.

Explore some of our employment contract lawyers .

Common Types of Employment Contracts

There are multiple types of employment contracts depending on the type of employee being hired. Here are some of the common employment contracts used by employees:

  • Permanent Employment Contract: A permanent employment contract is used for employees who are paid a salary or hourly rate and work regular hours. This type of contract may apply to full-time or part-time work and is ongoing until it is terminated by either party.
  • Fixed-term Employment Contract: A fixed-term employment contract has a set end date. Employees with a fixed-term contract have the same rights as permanent employees.
  • Casual Employment Contract: A casual employment contract is used when employers cannot guarantee a regular working pattern. The contract would generally detail the minimum number of hours that employees are expected to work each week and the type of pay.

Learn more about independent contractor agreements .


Get Free Bids to Compare

Leverage our network of lawyers, request free bids, and find the right lawyer for the job.

Get Bids Now

Who Writes Standard Employment Contracts?

Employment contracts are generally drawn up by the company through their legal counsel. However, in many cases individuals who are hiring the employee can also choose to write their own contracts. In some cases, independent contractors or freelancers can provide their own contracts and terms of employment. In all scenarios both parties would need to agree and sign the contract for it to be effective. It is advisable to contact an employment lawyer or a contracts lawyer to write an employment contract.

There are certain benefits of writing an employment contract:

  • Employment contracts are legally binding documents that both employers and employees agree to abide by. This reduces the chances that one party will take legal action later on or that there will be disputes about job expectations and responsibilities.
  • An employment contract sets clear expectations for the employees and outlines actions that might be taken if they don’t comply.
  • The employment contract generally discusses paid time off (PTO) which helps limit the employees’ overtime pay and holiday pay. This can help the employer or business save time and money.
  • An employment contract also ensures confidentiality through the confidentiality clause. This prohibits your employees from disclosing sensitive information.
  • Terms and conditions along with clauses protect the employer as well as the employee making disputes less likely. Even if there is a dispute, the contract insures that both parties are held liable based on duties and responsibilities they signed on to in the contract.

Get Help with an Employment Contract

Do you need help drafting an employment contract? Post a project in ContractsCounsel’s marketplace to receive flat fee bids from employment lawyers that specialize in this work. All lawyers in the ContractsCounsel marketplace are vetted by our team and reviewed 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

Charlton M. on ContractsCounsel
View Charlton
5.0 (6)
Member Since:
September 19, 2022

Charlton M.

Attorney
Free Consultation
Get Free Proposal
Dallas, TX
9 Yrs Experience
Licensed in TX
University of St. Thomas School of Law

Charlton Messer helps businesses and their owners with general counsel and contract drafting services. He has helped over 500 businesses with their legal needs across a variety of industries in nearly a decade of practice.

Justin K. on ContractsCounsel
View Justin
5.0 (3)
Member Since:
September 22, 2022

Justin K.

Freelance Attorney
Free Consultation
Get Free Proposal
Valencia, CA
20 Yrs Experience
Licensed in CA
University of Southern California School of Law

I have been practicing law exclusively in the areas of business and real estate transactions since joining the profession in 2003. I began my career in the Corporate/Finance department of Sidley's Los Angeles office. I am presently a solo practitioner/freelancer, and service both business- and attorney-clients in those roles.

Max L. on ContractsCounsel
View Max
Member Since:
September 18, 2022

Max L.

Attorney
Free Consultation
Get Free Proposal
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
17 Yrs Experience
Licensed in FL
The Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law

Hi there. My practice focuses on several aspects of business law, including business entity formation and organizational documents, trademark and copyright, tax disputes, and contracts. I work with quite a few creative entrepreneurs, such as photographers, artists, and musicians.

Erdal T. on ContractsCounsel
View Erdal
Member Since:
September 15, 2022

Erdal T.

Owner, CEO and Managing Attorney
Free Consultation
Get Free Proposal
New Jersey
17 Yrs Experience
Licensed in NJ, NY
New York Law School

Erdal Turnacioglu of Erdal Employment Law focuses on providing employment solutions to both employees and businesses, whether through litigation, review of employee handbooks, workplace investigations, or training seminars.

Dan "Dragan" I. on ContractsCounsel
View Dan "Dragan"
Member Since:
September 21, 2022

Dan "Dragan" I.

Managing Attorney
Free Consultation
Get Free Proposal
Chicago, Illinois
24 Yrs Experience
Licensed in IL
University of Illinois College of Law

I received a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Northwestern University in 1996 and then got my JD at University of Illinois College of Law where in 1999. I have been a lawyer helping people with legal issues in the United States and Internationally since then. I am currently licensed and authorized to practice before the Illinois courts and the United States’ District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Internationally I am one of a select few American attorneys licensed and authorized to practice before the United Nations ICTY/IRMCT, the International Criminal Court, and the State Court of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Clients have retained me internationally to alongside local counsel in several European countries, as well as Australia and Africa in private legal matters. I also have been appointed by the United Nations to represent persons at the ICTY/IRMCT in addition to being chosen by indigent accused to represent them. Since 2009 my own law firm has handled domestic and international cases, including Trial litigation (including Commercial, Premises Liability, Personal Injury, Criminal Defense, and General Litigation), as well as Transactional work (Contracts, Corporate formation, and Real Estate Transactions). I have been honored for my work by my peers who voted for me, and I served as President of the ADC-ICT (the Official Bar Association of Practitioners before the UN ICTY and UN IRMCT in The Hague) previously, and now am serving a term on the Executive Board. I also am elected to serve key roles in the ICCBA (that is the bar association at the International Criminal Court in The Hague). I enjoy helping less experienced practitioners and students evolve and improve. I served as an instructor/lecturer on Oral Advocacy and Trial Practice for the participants of the ADC-ICT & ICLB Mock Trial since 2014, and has presented Advocacy Training lectures for the ADC-ICT on several topics as well as regularly lecturing to visiting University and Bar groups from around the world. If you or a loved one have a legal matter of importance, let's see if I can help you with it!

Tina T. on ContractsCounsel
View Tina
Member Since:
October 1, 2022

Tina T.

Attorney
Free Consultation
Get Free Proposal
New Mexico
1 Yr Experience
Licensed in NM
Arizona Summit Law School

I am a New Mexico licensed attorney with many years of world experience in real estate, transactional law, social security disability law, immigration law, consumer law, and estate planning.

Brent W. on ContractsCounsel
View Brent
Member Since:
December 27, 2022

Brent W.

Attorney
Free Consultation
Get Free Proposal
Atlanta, GA
16 Yrs Experience
Licensed in GA
Cumberland School of Law

Brent has been in practice since 2007 and been the principal attorney and owner of The Walker Firm, LLC since 2014. Brent focuses on providing an array of general counsel services to individuals and companies in a variety of industries.

Sarah S. on ContractsCounsel
View Sarah
Member Since:
September 22, 2022

Sarah S.

Attorney
Free Consultation
Get Free Proposal
Oklahoma
3 Yrs Experience
Licensed in OK
University of Tulsa College of Law

I have a background in Criminal Law, Family Law, Contract Law, and Environmental Law. I also have five (5) degrees in the following: Here are my degrees and background: 1) B.S. in Environmental, Soil, and Water Sciences 2) A.S. in Pre-Medical Sciences (anatomy, physiology, medical terminology) 3) A.S. in Aircraft Non-Destructive Inspection (science of x-rays, cracks in metal, liquid penetrant, magnetic particle inspections, ultrasonic inspections, and spectrophotometric oil analysis) 4) Master's in Natural Resources Law Studies (1 year focus in the environmental and pollution laws (Hazardous Waste Laws such as RCRA, CERCLA, FIFRA, Natural Resource laws such as ESA, CWA, CAA, FWPCA, Environmental Law, Sustainable Development, and Global Climate Change issues) 5) Juris Doctor and certificate in Native American Law

James G. on ContractsCounsel
View James
Member Since:
September 22, 2022

James G.

Attorney
Free Consultation
Get Free Proposal
Glendale, Arizona
8 Yrs Experience
Licensed in AZ
Arizona Summit School of Law

I am a lawyer in Glendale, Arizona. I have practiced in contract work including buy/sell agreements, contracts for the purchase of goods and services and real estate. I also practice in bankruptcy law and sports and entertainment law.

Gregory D. on ContractsCounsel
View Gregory
Member Since:
September 30, 2022

Gregory D.

Attorney at Law
Free Consultation
Get Free Proposal
Wake Forest, NC
3 Yrs Experience
Licensed in NC
Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law at Campbell University

Gregory S. Davis is a native of New York and is a graduate of the Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law at Campbell University. He also holds an undergraduate degree in Economics from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from Bowie State University. Prior to entering the practice of law, Greg was a Trust officer for one of the largest U.S. Banks, an adjunct professor of finance at Meredith College and a Series 7 licensed financial advisor. Greg is currently the owner of The Law Office of Gregory S. Davis, PLLC (gsdavislaw.com) focusing on Estate Planning, Real Estate and Business Law. Greg is also an adjunct professor of Business Law at Wake Tech.

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