Oftentimes when we get a new job, there is plenty of paperwork to sign, but it can be confusing trying to parse out what exactly we are signing. Whether you are a new hire looking to make sure you aren’t signing your soul away, or a small business wondering exactly what goes into employment contracts and if you need employees to sign an NDA, this post is for you!

Read on to learn the basics of employment contracts and non-disclosure agreements, including why they are so important.

Employment Contracts

Florida laws do not technically require employment contracts. In fact, for many jobs the contracts feel unnecessary.  However, it is an important safeguard to have in place. Employment contracts make dealing with large agencies, such as Workers’ Compensation or the IRS, a much easier process.

So what do employment agreements need to contain?

The most important step is to identify all of the relevant parties, namely the person being hired and the company. Further individuals – like a direct manager or a department supervisor – can be identified, but are not required.

The type of employment is also important – are you hiring a full-time or part-time employee? Are they seasonal? If they are seasonal will they have opportunities after their term of employment is up? The contract should list expected weekly days and hours of work.

Make sure that both parties are on the same page when it comes to employee responsibilities. Include expectations concerning professional licenses and certificates.

Then, enumerate the benefits the employees will receive for their work. This includes either salary or hourly pay, and other benefits of working for the company. Benefits may include insurance coverage or discounts on company products or services.

Finally, the clause that people find most awkward to talk about: termination of the contract. This includes possible reasons for the employer to let the employee go, as well as the notice that an employee should provide if they are the one terminating the contract.

Non-Disclosure Agreements

Non-disclosure agreements, also called NDAs, are increasingly common in the modern business space – but are they necessary?

NDAs essentially ensure that an employee cannot spread information that is private to the business.  This sensitive information can include protecting the trade secrets of the business, or it can protect client information. NDAs can cover survey results, customer lists, technological developments, passwords, and information about technical systems – anything that a business owner feels the need to protect.

NDAs outline specifically what employees are allowed to share. Employers place conditions on information. For example, lets explore a theoretical situation. An employee signs an NDA pertaining to an event happening a year away from the signing. The employer has two options here. Option A: The employee talks about the event after it is over and done with. Option B: The employer bans the employee from talking about it at all.