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What needs to go on a New York employee contract?

On behalf of Steven Waldinger

Knowing what goes on a New York employee contract better ensures employers and workers are on the same page from day one.

It is great when a small business starts to grow into its full potential. Sometimes, that requires bringing on employees. Business owners and entrepreneurs more used to being employees rather than having employees may not be terribly familiar with what belongs on a New York employee contract. Here are some of the common contract items to help you stay out of hot legal water and take care of your workers.

Position definition

Leave no room for doubt regarding what role an employee will fulfill. Will the person be part of a specific team or department? If so, be sure to note that on the contract. Additionally, note the position’s responsibilities. You may even want to include the position’s hours and physical location if you operate out of a large building.

Benefits and compensation

Employee contracts should definitely include an agreed-upon hourly wage or annual salary. It is also a good idea to note opportunities for raises, incentives and/or bonuses. Note whether the position offers benefits and what those specific benefits are. With a benefits package, does the employee pay a percentage of those benefits? Here is also where you include retirement plan, fringe benefits and/or stock options information.

Expectations and requirements for performance

It may not be enough that employees fulfill the duties outlined in a contract. You may prefer employees to focus on building or learning specific skills, or there could be certain revenue or production goals you expect the employee to help you meet. Let workers know whether there is company information you would rather keep secret.

Vacation time, sick days and time off

Break down how many (if any) paid vacation days employees are allowed per pay period. Also, let workers know if the number of paid vacation days increase the longer they remain with the company. Family emergencies, illness and personal emergencies are bound to pop up. Let workers know whether they have personal days, how many they have per pay period and if they will be paid. Also, spell out whether you expect employees to make up any work they missed due to a personal emergency or illness.

Termination and severance

Much like a marriage, you have to enter into an employee-employer relationship with a full scope of the possibilities of what may lie ahead. You may have to terminate an employee. Let employees know the grounds for termination, so they can better avoid those landmines, and what happens when their employment is terminated for whatever reason. Not every company offers severance, so be sure to include whether you do and how severance pay works.

Once you have compiled your employee contract, have a New York business lawyer look over it. This agreement should be airtight and protect everyone’s interests.