When an employer makes a job offer, the start of the relationship between employer and employee must be properly documented. A written contract, or agreement, is the best way to establish the agreement and act as a basis for future communications. An employment letter is a basic form of contract that outlines the initial terms of employment. If an employee will work in New York, it is critical to understand the local laws around employment letters to ensure compliance. In this article, we will cover the basics of employment letters and what New York employers should consider when drafting an employment letter.

What is an Employment Letter?

An employment letter is an official document used by employers to confirm the hiring of a new employee and outline the specific terms of the new employee’s employment. Employment letters usually outline the job duties, salary and benefits package, restrictions, and other pertinent information. Employment letters must also include the employee’s start date and end date, if applicable.

Employment letters can be used to establish verbal agreements between employers and employees that extend beyond the initial agreement. This is important because, in the event of a disagreement, employers and employees can use the written evidence of the employment letter to refer to and enforce the agreed-upon conditions of employment.

What is Included in an Employment Letter?

The exact contents of an employment letter will vary depending on the company, industry, and jurisdiction. Generally, however, employment letters should include:

Basic Information: This includes the company name, the employee’s name, the employee’s start date, the employee’s job title, the location of the position, and the duration of the employment.

Job Description: This section will include a detailed description of the job duties, responsibilities, and expectations. Depending on the situation, this section can also include details about work hours, dress code, and any other information related to the job.

Salary and Benefits: This section will include information about the employee’s salary, including the payment schedule and any additional benefits (such as vacation, health benefits, etc.).

Confidentiality: This section specifies details about any confidential information the employee may have access to while employed. It also explains the consequences for disclosing or using confidential information for personal gain.

Restrictions: Many employment letters include restrictions that outline the types of activities the employee is and is not allowed to engage in while employed. For example, employers can include clauses that restrict employees from engaging in certain types of outside activities, such as competing with the company, soliciting customers, or using confidential information.

Employment Letters in New York

In the United States, employment letters are subject to federal and state laws. For employers located in New York, there are several rules that must be followed when drafting an employment letter. The New York State Department of Labor outlines the requirements for employment letters in New York here.

The most important thing to be aware of is that all statutory employment rights and laws must remain unaffected by the employment letter. This means that employers in New York must make sure that any clauses included in the employment letter do not conflict with the laws in place.

In addition, employers in New York must include language in the employee letter that specifies that the employee may terminate the contract at any time. The employee must also be informed that the company can terminate the employment with reasonable prior notice (or payment in lieu of such notice) and with cause.

Finally, employers in New York must assume that all employees are entitled to the minimum wage required by the New York State Minimum Wage Act and must include language in the employment letter that explains this.

Why Employers Need Experienced Legal Advice in New York

Due to the complicated nature of many employment laws, it is often best for employers in New York to work with experienced legal counsel when drafting employment letters. Although most employers understand the basics of employment law, experienced legal counsel can help employers ensure that the terms of the agreement are binding, valid, and legally enforceable. Experienced legal counsel can also help employers ensure that they are in compliance with the applicable laws.

Finding experienced legal counsel can be difficult, however. Employers in New York often have to spend time researching and evaluating various firms and lawyers. Thankfully, there are companies, such as UpCounsel, that specialize in helping employers in New York find experienced legal counsel quickly and easily. UpCounsel’s network of experienced lawyers is the perfect solution for employers in New York who need help understanding and navigating the complexities of employment laws.

Final considerations

When drafting an employment letter, it is important to keep in mind applicable laws and ensure that the terms of the agreement are valid and legally enforceable. Employment letters in New York must take into account the specific laws and regulations that apply in the state. To ensure compliance with these laws, it is best for employers in New York to seek experienced legal counsel. UpCounsel, an online legal services marketplace, provides access to experienced lawyers in New York who can help employers ensure compliance with applicable laws.


Employment Letter,

New York Employment Laws,

Employment Contracts