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What elements should be included in Texas employment contracts?

To help protect their rights and ensure they understand the job details, it is important for employees to carefully review their employment contracts.

In April of 2017, the civilian labor force in Texas was 13,548,800, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. When people enter employment, they often sign contracts with their employers. Considered legal documents, employment agreements spell out the expectations for employees and their employers, and may be essential in preventing in some employment disputes. To help ensure they are protected, it may be helpful for workers to understand the elements that may be included in their employment contracts.


One of the most important elements of employment for people is their compensation. Employment contracts should specify if workers will be paid by salary, hourly wages or commission. They should indicate what their starting income will be, whether they are eligible for any bonuses, the basis and timing for any increases in pay, and the circumstances for any pay reductions. When employees receive commission-based pay, it is important that their contracts specify the percentages and other such details. Employment agreements may also provide specifications regarding any incentive programs that may be included in workers’ pay.

Definition of the position

When people agree to do a job, it is essential that they have a clear understanding of what their employers expect of them. Thus, employment contracts should define the employment position, including providing the title, specifying the essential job duties, and indicating the hours and place of employment. This may help ensure that all parties are on the same page with regards to the jobs’ performance expectations.

Agreement term

Sometimes people are hired for permanent employment, while in other cases employees may be brought on for a specific period or for the duration of a certain project. In addition to stipulating the length of the employment relationship, employment contracts should also dictate the conditions under which the contract may be reduced, extended or terminated. Depending on the circumstances, should employers terminate workers’ employment before the end of the term, the employees may have grounds to take legal action.

Additional provisions

In addition to the general provisions provided in most employment contracts, some may carry additional clauses. These may include covenants not to compete,
confidentiality agreements and non-solicitation covenants. Such provisions may prevent workers from disclosing information about their employment or employer, as well as prevent them from going to work for a competitor following their termination or voluntary separation. Before signing their employment contract, workers should make certain they understand any additional covenants that may be included.

Consulting with a lawyer

Even with employment contracts in place, workers in Texas and elsewhere may unfortunately be taken advantage of by their employers. Thus, people believe their employment agreements or rights have been violated may benefit from seeking legal guidance. An attorney may explain their options and guide them through the process of filing an official complaint or legal claim against their employers.