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What terms are found in an employment contract?

Promises made and the follow through on those promises make the business world work. In its most basic terms, these are the elements of a contract. One party promises something in exchange for something else. When one side fails to keep its promise, then a breach of contract may be at hand, leaving one of the parties financially harmed. These contracts can be seen in just about every aspect of the business world, but one of the more common, and most negotiated, is the employment contract.

There are a variety of terms that can make up a business contract. Obviously an employee's compensation and the length of his or her employment will be spelled out, but so, too, will his or her benefits, including paid time off, insurance and retirement contributions. While these terms are often the most focused upon, they may not be the most important to the parties who are negotiating an employment contract.

Depending on the facts at hand, the parties may find other terms crucial to a successful relationship moving forward. For example, if an employee will be made privy to company secrets, such as manufacturing processes, data or even marketing and growth plans, then a company may want to have that employee sign off on a contract that has a confidentiality clause. Non-compete agreements may prevent an employee from working for or starting up a competitor after the employment contract ends, and, when intellectual property is in play, ownership of copyrights, trademarks and patents may be necessary to clarify.

These are just a few of the various terms that can be found in an employment contract. When negotiated with skill, these agreements can serve as the foundation for a successful business relationship that is beneficial to both parties. When the terms are unclear, though, or negotiated poorly, then the relationship can become very one-sided or confusing. This can lead to allegations of breach of contract and business litigation. Therefore, whatever stage you find yourself at, either negotiating a contract or preparing to litigate a breach, then you may want to seek assistance from an aggressive legal advocate.

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