Is an Employee Agreement a Contract?

My current employer is now asking me to sign an "Associate Agreement" that covers agreements such as confidentiality and non-compete topics if I leave. It also asks me to agree that "nothing contained in this Agreement constitutes a contract of employment." I'm confused - are the topics in this Agreement enforceable, and if so, doesn't that mean it is a contract?

1 answer  |  asked Jan 23, 2002 7:08 PM [EST]  |  applies to Illinois

Answers (1)

Aaron Maduff
Employee Agreement as a Contract

The words "nothing contained in this Agreement constitutes a contract of employment" are carefully chosen by the employer for a specific reason. Employment in Illinois is "at-will". This means that under ordinary cirucmstances, an employee may resign from a position at any time, and an employer may terminate the employment relationship at any time and for almost any reason (there are certain exceptions under the law) as well.
In this case, the agreement is certainly a contract of a kind. It is a contract with regard to the specific material it covers, specifically non-compete and non-disclosure.
YOU SHOULD BEWARE however, that the non-compete portions of this agreement could cause you difficulties in finding work in the future should your employment relationship with this employer terminate at some point. I most vociferously recomend that you CONSULT WITH AN ATTORNEY before signing this Agreement whether it be our offices or another.
Aaron Maduff

posted by Aaron Maduff  |  Jan 24, 2002 10:01 AM [EST]

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