Employment contracts can be a complicated legal document to understand. Whether you’re an employer looking to protect themselves from any legal liabilities, or an employee looking for a better assurance of their rights and job security, having a contract is essential to better managing the employer/employee relationship.

For business owners in Chicago, understanding the complexities and the importance of having a sound employment agreement in place is a critical part of running a business. Employment contracts, after all, help establish the financial expectations, job responsibilities, and any other necessary language to clarify the organization’s standard rules and expectations.

Fortunately, there are experienced legal professionals available to help businesses and their employees understand and make sense out of the contract process. Here’s a more in-depth look at some of the important topics regarding how to get started on an employment contract.

Understanding Local Regulations

When it comes to employment contracts, the first thing to be aware of is that all U.S. states have local regulations that must be considered. This is especially true for businesses in Chicago, where there are even more specific laws set forth by the city (Chicago Human Rights Ordinances). It’s important to find legal counsel who understands the job market and labor laws in Chicago, as well as to consult with an employment attorney when creating the employment contract.

Information Needed for the Contract

An employment contract should be an accurate representation of the employer and employee’s promises and expectations. To create the contract, there are some primary details that must be listed. This will include information like the job title, job duties & responsibilities, compensation & benefits, job duration, as well as any other applicable terms and conditions.

When creating the contract, it’s important to also include any language that explains other employment laws that the employee must be aware of, like minimum wage requirements, vacation days, etc.

Compensation and Benefits

The most important part of an employment contract is the specifics surrounding an employee’s compensation and benefits. This is true for both the employer and employee, as it is important to know what type of wage the employee can expect and how long they must work in order to earn that wage. Also, the contract should list any benefits the employee is eligible to receive, like health insurance, 401K matching, etc. Furthermore, it should include any potential bonuses that might be available to the employee.

Resolving Disputes

No matter how well an employment contract is written, there is still a possibility of a dispute arising at some point during the course of the agreement. As such, the employment agreement should include a section outlining how any such disputes that arise will be resolved. This can include things like arbitration or mediation, or even explain what laws are applicable to the dispute.

Review and Signing the Contract

Once the employment contract has been drafted, it’s important to have both the employer and employee review the document thoroughly in order to ensure that it is airtight and accurate. Any questions or concerns should be addressed before the contract is signed. Once both parties have approved the document and have signed it, a copy should be made of the contract for each party to keep as a record.


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