ContractsCounsel Logo

How To Write an Employment Contract:
8 Steps to Follow

Clients Rate Lawyers on our Platform 4.9/5 Stars
based on 7,528 reviews
Home Blog How To Write an Employment Contract: 8 Steps to Follow

Jump to Section

Need help with an Employment Contract?

Create a free project posting

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

Michael M.

463 projects on CC
View Profile

Morgan S.

6 projects on CC
View Profile

Sara S.

41 projects on CC
View Profile

Spencer R.

3 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.

Need help with an
Employment Contract?

Create a free project posting

Meet some of our Lawyers

Charlotte L. on ContractsCounsel
View Charlotte
4.6 (2)
Member Since:
February 25, 2021

Charlotte L.

Self-Employed Legal Consultant
Free Consultation
Arlington, VA
9 Yrs Experience
Licensed in DC, VA
University of Virginia School of Law

I hold a B.S. in Accounting and a B.A. in Philosophy from Virginia Tech (2009). I received my J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law in 2012. I am an associate member of the Virginia Bar and an active member of the DC bar. Currently, I am working as a self-employed legal consultant and attorney. Primarily my clients are start-up companies for which I perform various types of legal work, including negotiating and drafting settlement, preparing operating agreements and partnership agreements, assisting in moving companies to incorporate in new states and setting up companies to become registered in a state, assisting with employment matters, drafting non-disclosure agreements, assisting with private placement offerings, and researching issues on intellectual property, local regulations, privacy laws, corporate governance, and many other facets of the law, as the need arises. I have previously practiced as an attorney at a small DC securities law firm and worked at Deloitte Financial Advisory Services LLC. My work experience is dynamic and includes many short-term and long term experience that span across areas such as maintaining my own blog, freelance writing, and dog walking. My diverse background has provided me with a stong skill set that can be easily adapted for new areas of work and indicates my ability to quickly learn for a wide array of clients.

Brad H. on ContractsCounsel
View Brad
5.0 (6)
Member Since:
November 6, 2020

Brad H.

Free Consultation
Raleigh, NC
11 Yrs Experience
Licensed in NC
University of North Carolina

Brad is a business attorney with experience helping startup and growing companies in a variety of industries. He has served as general counsel for innovative companies and has developed a broad knowledge base that allows for a complete understanding of business needs.

Merry A. on ContractsCounsel
View Merry
5.0 (4)
Member Since:
July 26, 2023

Merry A.

Free Consultation
Lakebay, WA
37 Yrs Experience
Licensed in WA
Seattle University School of Law (formerly UPS School of Law) Juris Doctorate

Merry Kogut is a licensed attorney based in Washington State who has been a legal expert on JustAnswer since 2008 specializing in employment law, consumer protection and discrimination issues. She has been an attorney handling WA State phone consultations for Arag Legal Insurance since April, 2023. She has also been an attorney in private practice since 1986, and was in-house legal counsel for multiple WA State government agencies. She brings nearly 50 years combined legal and professional writing experience. Earlier in her career, Merry served as a law clerk for the Washington State Court of Appeals, and as a discrimination specialist, investigator and legislative liaison. She also helped establish the “Legal Writing Institute,” a national association of legal writing instructors and administrators. Merry earned her law degree from the Seattle University (formerly University of Puget Sound) School of Law.

Marykaren R. on ContractsCounsel
View Marykaren
Member Since:
July 26, 2023

Marykaren R.

Privacy and Data Protection Counsel
Free Consultation
Boulder, CO, USA
5 Yrs Experience
Licensed in DC
University of Wyoming College of Law

I provide legal advice and guidance on complex privacy laws and regulations including: Privacy Policies, incident response & state data breach notification laws, privacy risk and risk assessments, PIAs/DPIAs, contracts, and policies and procedures to help build consumer trust and ensure compliance. I am successful by encouraging collaboration with stakeholders to ensure a successful and sustainable program.

Tamla L. on ContractsCounsel
View Tamla
Member Since:
July 26, 2023

Tamla L.

Free Consultation
Jacksonville, FL
4 Yrs Experience
Licensed in FL
Florida Coastal School of Law

Led by Tamla N. Lloyd, Esquire, our firm prioritizes a client-centered approach and aim to provide comprehensive, personalized services to help clients achieve their legal goals.

Michael S. on ContractsCounsel
View Michael
Member Since:
July 26, 2023

Michael S.

Free Consultation
Kansas City Metro Area
1 Yr Experience
Licensed in KS, MO
University of Kansas

Born and raised in St. Louis, MO. Bachelors Degree from the University of Iowa. Masters Degree from the University of Melbourne. J.D. from the University of Kansas. Licensed to practice law in Missouri and Kansas. Tennessee currently pending.

Find the best lawyer for your project

Browse Lawyers Now
Learn About Contracts
See More Contracts
other helpful articles

Need help with an Employment Contract?

Create a free project posting

Want to speak to someone?

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

Request a call

Find lawyers and attorneys by city