When entering into a professional arrangement with a new employer, like a contract worker, typically the employer will issue an offer letter detailing the working arrangement. An offer letter can serve as both a confirmation of the employment agreement and a legally-binding contract, and as such, it should be treated with the same respect as other agreements and contracts. As a jobseeker in the Chicago area, you may have questions about offer letters. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions to help you understand more about offer letters and the laws that govern them.

What is an Offer Letter?

An offer letter is a document outlining the details of employment, such as job duties, salary, working hours, benefits, and other terms of employment. It can also include the effective start date of employment, the reporting structure and other details. Offer letters are typically used to confirm informal discussions and serve as a legally binding contract between the employer and employee. Offer letters are a foundation to any employment relationship in the United States.

Do I need a lawyer to sign my offer letter?

No. As an employee, you are not required to have a lawyer review an offer letter. However, if you desire added protection for your interests, then having a lawyer review the contract can help ensure that everything is in line with local regulations and your rights are protected.

What should an offer letter include?

A well-written offer letter should include all the details of your employment arrangement, such as job descriptions and duties, salary and workplace conditions. It should also include benefits such as vacation time, health insurance and other perks. The letter should also include termination language, including which party can cancel the agreement and how intellectual property and confidential information will be handled.

Are verbal offer letters valid?

Verbal offer letters do have some weight, but it is important to remember that such arrangements are not legally enforceable. If an employer makes an offer to you over the phone and you accept it, make sure to write up an official offer letter and have it signed by yourself and the employer.

What if I have questions or concerns about the original offer letter?

If you have any questions or concerns about an offer letter, reach out to a local lawyer for more information and guidance. An experienced business attorney can review the offer letter to ensure it is compliant with local regulations and can provide you with advice on whether or not the agreement is in your best interest.

What are the legal implications of an employer not signing my offer letter?

An employer's failure to sign an offer letter can potentially have legal implications. Generally, an unsigned offer letter creates a weak case should the issues need to be taken to court because the other party can claim that the proposed agreement was just informal negotiations and was not to be legally binding.

Are offer letters binding?

Yes. Offer letters are legally binding agreements, so it is important to take the time to read and understand the contents of the documents before signing. Once both parties have signed it, the offer letter is legally enforceable.

Offer letters are an important tool for employers and employees alike. Perhaps it is with an employer or an independent contractor, working out the specifics of the working arrangement is often accomplished through an offer letter. Understanding the answers to the most common questions about such documents can help you and your employer clearly define the commitment. But remember, if you have any questions about your offer letter, contact a local business lawyer who specializes in employment agreements. They can review the document and advise you on the best way to proceed.


Offer Letter,

Employment Agreement,

Legal Contract.