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Is An Offer Letter A Legal Document?

HomeBlogIs An Offer Letter A Legal Document?
December 07, 2022

Many employees believe that employment contracts and offer letters are the same letters. But these letters are not the same. These two letters have different types of information. When you receive an offer letter, that letter should include information like your start date, expected salary, title, and onboarding information. 

One huge difference between an employment contract and an offer letter is that an offer letter isn’t legally binding. That means that your employment is not officially set in stone even if you sign an offer letter. The team at Olivier & Schreiber, PC, can assist with your employment law issues.

What Is Included In Offer Letters?

Offer letters contain general information about the position that you may be accepting. Some of this information includes:

  • A congratulatory line offering you the position
  • The business’s contact information
  • The job title and type of position
  • Beginning date of employment
  • Monthly or yearly salary
  • Confidentiality agreements

What Is Not Included In Offer Letters?

Your offer letter does not include the important legal details of your employment. For example, your offer letter will not include promises from your employer about future employment.

Even if your offer letter includes an at-will statement, that does not indicate future employment. It is a statement that lets you know that your employer has the right to terminate you at any time for any reason, as long as the reason is not illegal.

Why Offer Letters Aren’t Legally Binding

Offer letters aren’t considered legal documents because these documents just propose a position to potential candidates.

Many employers like to use offer letters because they are a way for them to avoid future hiring risks. As a potential candidate, you have no obligation to a certain company. You can accept other offers from other competitors.

Until you sign an offer letter with a certain employer, you are not closed off from accepting other job offers. However, nothing is legally binding until an employment contract is signed. 

Employment contracts allow everything in the offer letter to be legally binding. Employment contracts contain specific stipulations for your employment. These documents include important information like the promises of your future employment.

Negotiating Offer Letters

Even though offer letters are not legally binding, you can use that to your advantage in a major way. You can negotiate certain elements of your offer letter, like your salary, even after you have signed your offer letter.

You have the right to negotiate for the right salary based on your expertise. To negotiate, you can write a reply letter or email to your future employer about your desired salary and why you feel you deserve it.

Before you write a reply letter and try to negotiate the terms of your offer letter, reach out to an attorney first.

Discuss Any Contracts With An Employment Attorney

When you want to review your offer letter, employment contract, or any other documents related to your employment, reach out to our attorneys at Olivier & Schreiber PC. Contact us online to schedule your free consultation.

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