Employment Agreement in New York: Essential Information You Must Know!
Both an employer and employee should always work towards a cordial and productive working relationship. But how best can they achieve this? An employment agreement in New York is the only legal contract that can help in this case by outlining the terms and conditions of the employment relationship.
The contract is mainly used when hiring permanent employees and for temporary workers, contractors, and sub-contractors.
What is Included in a New York Employment Agreement?
A draft employment contract covers employee duties and responsibilities, worker's compensation and benefits, employment start date, contract duration, working hours, vacation time, and time off.
In addition, the agreement should have reasons for contract termination and restrictive clauses, like non-compete and non-obligation agreements, to protect legitimate business interests.
Note that a formal employment contract should have three elements: offer, acceptance, and consideration. And both parties will be held to the terms of the agreement should something wrong happen along the way.
Are Employment Contracts Enforceable in New York?
Employment contracts in writing and signed by the employer and employee are enforceable in New York. However, if the employment period is less than a year, the agreement may be enforced even without any form of writing.
It is also important to note that verbal agreements can be enforced in New York. This happens if one party can prove the existence of the contract. However, if the contract can't be verified, the chances of it being enforced are minimal.
Contracts signed under duress are also not enforceable. This happens when one party doesn't sign the contract willingly. In addition, if the courts find that there was unequal bargaining power when creating the agreement, such contracts are also not enforced.
The Legal Requirements for Employment Agreements
New York is very strict regarding the legal requirements for employment agreements. The state requires the contract to be written and signed by both parties, especially for contracts valid for more than one year.
New York recognizes verbal agreements for employment not exceeding one year. So, if you want to hire an employee for one month or two, you can orally agree upon the terms of work, and the contract will be legally binding. However, it is harder to prove the contract exists, which is why people are advised to use written and signed employment agreements.
There are stricter regulations governing restrictive contracts, like non-compete. They must meet the following criteria to be legally binding or enforceable;
- The agreement must aim to protect legitimate business interests
- Should not impose undue hardship on the worker
- Its terms should not violate public policy
- Must be reasonable
New York is an at-will employment state, meaning that an employer can fire or an employee can quit at any time and for almost any reason. However, with a valid employment agreement, the working relationship can only end according to the reasons outlined in the termination clause.
But without a legal contract, an employer can fire an employee at will without any legal consequences. But they should not fire employees for discriminatory reasons, like gender, sexual orientation, religion, age, or race.
Various Types of Employment Contracts in New York
Some of the common employment contracts in New York include:
- A permanent contract is used by an institution or company when hiring a permanent worker.
- Fixed-term contract is used by companies when hiring temporary employees who work for a specified time.
- A contractor agreement is used by a company, institution, or individual when hiring a contractor or freelancer to complete a specific assignment or project.
- Non-compete agreements work to prohibit a worker from working for or establishing a competing enterprise.
Creating a New York employment contract has never been easier, thanks to Forms.legal. We provide free New York employment agreement forms you can access online and at your convenience. All you have to do is complete the form online download and print it when done.