Employment Law

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Contract Employment Rights

A contract employee offers specific services to a business. Usually, an employer will engage in a written employment agreement with a contract employee. The agreement relates the expectations of both employer and employee. The length of employment, salary, benefits and the expectations are all defined in the contract. There are many legal issues that can arise with an employment contract, and these can lead to legal questions about a contract employee’s rights. Employment Lawyers on JustAnswer can answer any legal question that you may have. Below are five of the top questions answered by the Experts. 

Can an employer require contract employees to work 14-hour shifts, 7 days a week?

You have to work the hours specified in the contract between you and your employer and you should also be paid for those hours.

If a contracted employee owes an employer for damages, can the employer withhold the employee’s wages?

The employer cannot withhold pay from a contract employee without the written consent of the employee. If an employer withholds a contract employee’s wages in this manner, it would be a violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act. However, the employer could sue the employee for any money owed for damages caused. The employee could sue the employer if wages are withheld, but then the employer is likely to countersue for the damages owed. 

What can contract employees do if they are terminated unexpectedly?

The first thing you should do is review your employment contract to determine if your employer is in violation of the contract by terminating you. If you find that the employer has violated any terms of the contract, you should seek the assistance of a local employment lawyer. Employment Lawyers on JustAnswer can also provide a second opinion or review the contract and provide legal insights. If there is a violation, the lawyer will usually file a lawsuit for wrongful termination and breach of contract for not following the procedures within your contract. However, if the employer hasn’t violated any terms of your contract, you are unlikely to have a case and may not be able to file for wrongful termination or breach of contract

Can an employer use “at will employment” in an employee’s contract?

Contracted employees can only be hired and terminated under the terms of a contract. “At will” employment does not usually apply to employees under an employment contract. However, when using an employment contract, stipulations can be added to the terms which would allow the employer the right to terminate the employee without continuing any rights of payment. The employer could also draw up a contract that states several terms of a job but also indicate that an employee will remain an ‘at will’ employee and maintain an ‘at will’ work relationship. 

Can a company pay contracted labor less money than other companies pay for similar labor?

An employer is not required to pay the same wages that competitor businesses pay their employees for similar work. As long as employers abide by the agreed amount that was promised to the contract employee, they are within their rights to set the pay amount. This rule applies to contract employees as well as regular “at will” employees. However, if the employee has not signed a non-compete agreement, the employee can leave the company and go to work for another company that would pay more. 

Entering into employment contracts can be tricky if you are unfamiliar with the legal guidelines involved. If you have questions or doubts or just want to learn about contract employee laws, take your questions to Employment Lawyers on JustAnswer. The Experts handle a wide variety of Employment Law questions and provide fast and knowledgeable answers.

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