Drafting the right employment letter
Building a new business is exciting, and hiring your first employees can be equally as impressive. Many employees in Silicon Valley elect to make employment offers via a written letter. These are helpful for reference and record-keeping purposes. They also provide employment candidates with written documentation of their salaries for housing purposes and the security necessary to leave their current positions. Individual offer letters are binding if your chosen candidate detrimentally relies on the offered position and salary. Drafting the right employment letter is essential, as failure to include certain employment conditions may result in litigation.
The experienced Silicon Valley business startup attorneys at Startup Company Counsel can help you draft the perfect employment letter. To schedule your free consultation with a business employment attorney, call us today at (408)-441-7555 or contact us online.
What Should You Include in an Offer Letter?
Your offer letter should entice a potential employee to sign. This may mean including a personalized statement describing what you appreciated about the applicant or how he or she would be a value to your business. Your potential employee may have multiple offers, so make a statement with your offer letter. These letters generally include the following:
- The job description,
- Any official title,
- The job location,
- The starting salary,
- The anticipated start date,
- The time the employee has to accept the offer,
- The benefits offered, including health insurance, paid leave, and anything meant to incentivize an employee to sign,
- Any conditions of employment, i.e., passing a background check, and
- An acceptance clause and signature block.
Be sure your letter is well written, free of grammatical errors, professionally formatted, and printed on letterhead.
Are Employee Offer Letters Binding?
For a valid contract, there must be offer and acceptance; accordingly, the terms of an offer letter are binding once signed. You must formally withdraw the proposal before the employee signs if you change your mind. Consider what to include in your letter. It’s recommended that you make no guarantees unless you’re prepared to stand by them and contain a phrase stating that the employment is “at-will” and may be terminated at any time. Some employers elect to provide a weekly, as opposed to a yearly, salary quote. This avoids any appearance that a year’s salary is guaranteed.
Further, consider providing a timeline for receipt of the signed offer before it is automatically withdrawn. Avoid having an open offer if you’re considering other candidates. It’s also essential to include all conditions of employment in your letter. This may include a probationary period, necessary background checks, and an in-office schedule. The key is getting all of this information into an employment letter, as opposed to an employment essay. One way to do this is to include a reference to an employee handbook or additional documentation in your offer letter.
Silicon Valley Business Attorneys
Head off potential employment litigation before it starts. Drafting the right employment offer letter is essential to help your business grow, but it may be unintentionally binding. To schedule your free consultation with a business employment attorney at Startup Company Counsel, call us today at (408)-441-7555 or contact us online.