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What Needs To Be Included In An Employment Contract?

Employment contracts can vary greatly, but often this document must detail the responsibilities, restrictions and compensations of a position.

Delaware employers may use an employment contract to clearly describe the employee-employer relationship for executive-level workers. This type of legal document is not always required, but it can help protect everyone involved. When new hires have to sign an agreement, they are more likely to understand what they can and cannot do in their new role. Similarly, this type of contract can make employees feel safer from workplace discrimination and wrongful termination. Each contract may include information specific to the job, but generally, they need to go over the expectations of the company.


Employers may choose to create a contract to make the role of the new employee perfectly clear. Going over potential restrictions can help the newest member of the team better understand what he or she is not allowed to do in the role. For example, some contracts may include a non-compete clause that stops a worker from seeking employment with a direct competitor for a designated period after termination.

Other restrictions may revolve around intellectual property. A contract may note that any new ideas protected by a copyright or patent belong solely to the company. Similarly, a worker may not be allowed to use trademarked or branded information obtained on the job at any future places of work.


A contract should go over what is expected of a new employee, so the person filling the role knows exactly what to do from the first day forward. Some companies may use this section to go over current expectations as well as the potential for a shift in responsibility. For example, the contract may detail the need for reassignment if certain conditions are met. This legal document could also go over how a worker is supposed to complete his or her duties to ensure all tasks are done to the exact specifications expected by the employer.


For many employees, the compensation portion of the contract may be the most important as it goes over how much a person is going to make. Common topics covered in the compensation section include starting salary, commission, overtime and raises. While compensation often includes wages, it can also include the following:

  • Vacation time
  • Health insurance
  • Company vehicle
  • Company stock

In some positions, an employee may be given access to other company property, such as a cellphone or computer. Giving an outline of all of the benefits enjoyed during employment can make a prospective worker eager to join the company culture.

Not every new-hire in Delaware will have to sign an employment contract. When this type of document is used, it may be beneficial to work with an attorney familiar with these specialized legal documents.