Starting out in a new workplace is not always as simple as an employer offering you a job after a short interview and a handshake. In many cases, a worker and an employer will come to an arrangement over benefits, rights and obligations of the job before the hiring takes place. This arrangement typically takes the form of an employment agreement.
If you have concerns about your employer protecting your rights, a good place to find where your employer describes your rights is in an employment contract. Even if your employer did not hire you with a contract, Chron explains that employment agreements may take other forms, mainly explicit or implied agreements.
An explicit employment agreement is typically a document outlining the duties of the job, the compensation you shall receive, the number of hours you should perform, along with other benefits and stipulations. The contract may also specify that the employer has the right to add or alter your duties and that the employer may or may not offer you benefits. Whatever form it takes, an explicit agreement is usually a contract that you sign to receive employment.
While many employers do not use an employment contract, they might still imply an arrangement of benefits and rights to workers through other means. Sometimes it happens when an employer interviews a prospective worker and tells the person about benefits and terms of employment. Even though this is all spoken, it can still qualify as a valid employment agreement.
Other employers might imply an agreement through company literature. Employer handbooks generally contain the same information that an employment contract would include. You might also find that a job interview letter from your employer describes your rights and obligations as conditions of employment.
At-will hiring in agreements
When an employer says they will hire you at-will, it means they reserve the right to fire you for any reason provided they do not violate civil rights laws by doing so. However, if an employer does not specify your hiring is at-will, you might have grounds for a wrongful termination suit if the employer fires you for reasons not specified in your agreement. It is important to look over any employment agreement to see if it contains this at-will specification.