Share on Facebook
Share on X
Share on LinkedIn
By Louise Herman

When you begin working in a new position, you’ll likely have to sign an employment contract or agreement covering various concerns like non-disclosure or non-compete documents. However, in some instances, these agreements may not be enforceable if considered null and void or if there are terms that make the contract voidable. Understanding these terms is crucial to protecting yourself as an employee, so you’ll want to keep reading to learn more. You’ll also discover how a Providence, Rhode Island employment agreement lawyer can help protect you.

What’s the Difference Between a Voidable and Null and Void Employment Contract?

Though often used interchangeably, a voidable and null and void contract are two distinct legal terms used to discuss agreements, which apply to employment contracts.

A voidable contract is an agreement in which one of the parties involved can legally cancel the agreement under specific circumstances. However, if the two parties decide to proceed with the contract, it can be legally enforced.

A null and void contract is completely invalid due to fundamental issues surrounding the subject or terms of the agreement. For example, if your employment agreement asks you to launder money as part of your job responsibilities, it will be null and void because money laundering is illegal. This means the contract is never valid and thus unenforceable by law, even if both parties agree to the terms.

What Factors Influence the Validity?

When it comes to employment agreements, a number of factors can influence the validity of an agreement. For example, an employment contract must meet specific requirements to guarantee it can be legally upheld. Terms such as job responsibilities, salary, hours, and benefits must be explained.

The agreement must include the subject, which details the offer and acceptance of the terms. You will also need to include the consideration, which explains what each party will receive when signing the contract. For the employee, this would be wages, and the employer would receive labor.  Finally, each party much have the capacity to sign an agreement, which means they must be over 18 in most states and of sound mind.

In Rhode Island, some employees under 18 may be required to fill out an employment agreement if their parent or guardian also produces a signature.

Do I Need an Attorney?

Before you sign any document related to your employment, you should have a lawyer review the document to ensure the terms you are agreeing to are legally valid. Though you may have read over the entirety of your agreement, having someone well-versed in employment contracts can help ensure there are no loopholes or unfair terms potentially impacting the document’s validity.

If you’re getting ready to sign a contract, the Herman Law Group is ready to help. Our firm has the experience necessary to guide you through the process of reviewing contracts to ensure the terms of your employment are fair and just. Reach out today to schedule a consultation.

About the Author
At Herman Law Group, our focus is on safeguarding the rights and careers of employees and businesses alike. With over 35 years of successful legal practice, Louise A. Herman brings an invaluable dual perspective from representing both employees and employers. This unique insight allows us to effectively achieve successful outcomes for our clients in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and nationwide.