Employment Contracts in Massachusetts: Verbal And Written Are Valid
In Massachusetts, verbal employment agreements can be enforced. It is advisable for both the employer and the employee, however, to have a written agreement that sets forth the terms and conditions of the employment relationship.
Most employees do not have a written employment agreement. These employees are called ‘ at will‘ employees, which means that they can be fired for any reason at all, even unjust or unfair reasons, though there are a select number of statutes and common laws that carve out exceptions to the ‘ at will‘ doctrine.
As a general rule of thumb, the more experienced and skilled the employee, the more likely that the employee can negotiate to have a written employment contract that prohibits capricious, arbitrary or unfair terminations. It is not uncommon for these high level executives in the ‘c-suite’ to have employment contracts because they bring highly regarded skills or attributes to the table.
If an employee is fortunate enough to bargain for a written employment agreement, he or she should consider retaining legal counsel to negotiate and/or review the terms. Call Davis & Davis, P.C., at 978-276-9051 for assistance with contract and other employment matters.
Well-Drafted Employment Contracts and Termination Provisions Benefit Employers And Employees
All good things come to an end, which is why the termination provision in a written employment agreement is arguably the most important provision in the contract. This provision is usually called a “just cause” or “for cause” provision.
- Employees should advocate for language that is highly detailed and identifies with particularity those situations that would trigger the “for cause” provision.
- Employers on the other hand usually want to retain some discretion and want broader language, including a “catch all” provision.
There are different types of employment contracts. Areas of the law that remain a hotbed of controversy and litigation are the noncompete agreements as well as nonsolicitation agreements, nondisclosure agreements and confidentiality agreements.
Contact Our Law Firm For Assistance With Your Contract Matter
Employers and employees can both benefit from a well-drafted employment agreement. Properly crafted, an employment agreement can cut down on post-termination disputes and litigation. Employers and employees should consider consulting an experienced employment law attorney to determine if an employment contract is feasible and advisable.