In some cases, Texas employers may want to hire workers without worrying about an employment contract. However, when seeking skilled professionals in a competitive field, people may need more than a good salary to convince them to take the job. This is where employment contracts come into play.

As FindLaw points out, the right contract benefitsemployer and employee alike by stating the obligations of each to the other. Because the contract is a legal document, employers should make sure the terms and clauses protect the company without being so restrictive that employees find it unappealing. Both sides to come to the table prepared to negotiate.

Here are some of the common elements of an employment contract:

·       How long the job will last

·       The employee’s job duties

·       Compensation and benefits

·       Leave policies

·       Dispute resolution policies

If the job duties involve creating intellectual property, many employers choose to include a clause stating that any IP produced by the employee while on the job belongs to the employer. The contract may also include language that protects the company’s trade secrets from reproduction or use by the employee after he or she leaves the company. This may be in the form of a noncompete clause, nondisclosure agreement or other confidentiality statement.

Chron.com adds that it is important to cover termination. The default is “employment at will,” meaning the employer or the employee could end the relationship without reason. If there are specific grounds for termination, these should be mentioned. If the employer plans to offer a severance package, this should be defined in the contract, as well.