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Photo of Michelle Cohen Levy
Photo of Michelle Cohen Levy

Boilerplate employment contracts: An employer’s friend or foe?

On Behalf of | Jan 29, 2024 | Employment Law |

Boilerplate employment contracts, pre-written agreements used by many Florida employers, seem like a convenient time-saver. After all, who wants to spend hours crafting individual contracts for every new hire?

But while boilerplates can provide a veneer of efficiency, they can mask hidden risks that could come back to bite employers in the long run. The first step in correcting your knowledge of cookie-cutter contracts is to forget these misconceptions.

Myth 1: They are standardized, so they must be safe

While seemingly consistent, boilerplate employment agreements often have not been updated to reflect possible changes in Florida contract law. What was “safe” yesterday might be a legal minefield today. Further, generic language may not address specific nuances of your business or industry, leaving exploitable gaps and ambiguities.

Myth 2: They are just formalities, nobody reads them

In this rights-aware modern era, most employees know enough to scour every document they sign, including work-related contracts. They may quickly sign a boilerplate agreement that benefits them over you. Unfortunately, premade contracts may be legally enforceable and bind you, the employer, to unfavorable terms and conditions.

Myth 3: They can save time, and probably money

Although you can implement them immediately, boilerplate employment contracts can cost dearly in the long run. Legal challenges from ambiguous clauses, employee dissatisfaction over unfair terms and reputational damage from restrictive practices can all be expensive nightmares. Investing in proper contracts upfront saves you from these headaches later.

Your business and legal documents are the backbone of your enterprise. They can protect you and your company or expose you to avoidable risk. Bespoke contracts and documents, tailored to your unique circumstances may best serve you. A legal representative can offer crucial guidance.