Most employment in Massachusetts is called “at will,” meaning that it can be terminated by the employee or the employer at any time for any reason. Some employment, however — typically, employment of professionals in sought-after positions — may be contractual. Before an employee enters into a contract with an employer, it is vital that the employment contract be reviewed by an attorney to avoid any surprises.
Employment contracts can cover a vast array of terms of the employment. Aside from the amount of compensation and the length of the contract, they often describe how required steps before employment can be terminated, benefits of employment, and renewal of the agreement. Sometimes, out-of-state companies will include a “forum selection” clause stating that all disputes about the employment must be resolved in a distant state.
Contractual terms may sometimes be vague, ambiguous, or confusing. If there is a dispute about the meaning of contractual terms, it may be necessary to bring in external evidence of what the parties meant at the time (called “extrinsic evidence”). Or, one of the parties may not want extrinsic evidence to be introduced.
Culik Law has assisted employees in resolving disputes with their employers when employment contract terms need to be negotiated, or when they are disputed. We have also negotiated monetary settlements with employers. If you have a contractual issue with an employer, contact our office.