New Jersey Employment Contracts: What you need to know

Every employment relationship is a contractual relationship, regardless of whether the contract is reduced to writing. Employment contracts take many forms, including at-will employment, implied contracts created by offer letters or language in employee handbooks, collective bargaining agreements or union contracts, and individual written employment agreements.
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New Jersey is an “employment-at-will” state, so the default contract of employment is “at will.” This means that both the employee and employer are generally free to terminate the employment relationship at any time and for any reason, as long as the reason is not illegal or violative of public policy (e.g., discriminatory). While the presumption in favor of at-will employment is strong in New Jersey, the courts have recognized exceptions in some circumstances.
A contract limiting the right of either the employee or employer to terminate the employment relationship may, in certain circumstances, be implied from the employment relationship.
In certain circumstances, oral statements made by an employer or its managers in combination with provisions in employee handbooks and other documents, such as offer letters, can give rise to an implied contract that limits the employer's right to terminate an employee. Therefore, employers should train managers and supervisors to avoid making promises or statements related to job security and should include an at-will statement in any offer letters and employee handbooks distributed to employees.
In New Jersey, policies included in employee handbooks related to job security, progressive discipline, performance reviews, etc., have ...

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