Contracts have been a part of society since antiquity. The basic idea, and the thing that distinguishes them from normal agreements, is that a contract is enforceable by law.
If you were to wager some money with a friend on the outcome of a game of football, and you won, the only thing that will guarantee your friend paying is that they are true to their word. If it is just a friend’s agreement, the continued existence of the friendship itself may play a part, but otherwise, that person is not legally bound to pay you anything.
If someone does owe you money and fails to pay you back and starts avoiding you, it is probably money well spent in any case. However, the fact that contracts exist speaks to an aspect of humanity that is not exactly flattering: people sometimes do not pay.
Whether it is because they do not have the money, or that they disagree with you on the stipulations of the agreement, the fact remains that being able to leverage the law against them is a useful thing. This is why nearly every job (every legal one anyway) includes a contract. It is designed to assuage the concerns of both parties.
Your employer will hire you because they need you to perform certain tasks. If you do not, they will lose money. Being able to enforce your agreement means that they can have a reasonable expectation that you will do as you say. If you don’t, a contract can allow them to find someone else.
Conversely, if your employer does not pay you for services rendered, you need to have recourse to get what you deserve. The fact that these agreements cannot be enshrined in trust but need to be codified and guaranteed by law reveals that some people are not as good as their word.
The reality of capitalism is that the nature of competition and the freedom of the market can sometimes inspire some people to act ruthlessly. This is the reason that the United States has extensive antitrust laws.
There are also checks on the ostensibly free market in the form of anti-monopoly laws that date back to the late 1800s. One of the benefits of the free market is that if several corporations offer the same services or products, they will all be hoping to secure as much of the market as possible. To do this, they will need the best product and the best customer service.
However, if one of their more innovative rivals creates a better product, everyone else will need to improve concomitantly or to a greater degree in response. This ensures that consumers get the best products available and at the best prices. Without competition, companies would be able to charge whatever they wish and the customer would have no choice. Voting with your wallet works.
The relationship a company has with its employees is rather different. Of course, if someone is dissatisfied with their job, they can find a different one, or leverage the possibility to get improvements at their current job. This is not as easy as it sounds though. While a contract may be a guarantee to a certain degree that the employee will be treated fairly, sometimes it is not enough.
For example, if you work overtime (more than 40 hours a week), you need to be paid for that extra work. Not everyone is aware of this and if their employer is rather unscrupulous, they make take advantage and get that person to effectively work for free.
If you think that you may not be earning as much as you should for the work that you’re doing, you should consider speaking to a NYC employment lawyer. While becoming entangled in legal battles may not seem appealing, winning your case will set a precedent and hopefully dissuade employers doing something similar in the future.
It is not just how much money you’re earning that is important though. Your safety at work is crucial too. No less than three Department of Labor agencies has responsibility for the laws that protect the health and safety of American workers.
If you notice that your employer is not acting in a way that will ensure the safety of their staff, you should say something. While the practice of suing in response to a workplace injury can seem rather litigious, it is effective. The problem is that the fear of being sued can motivate some people to act in anticipation of it.
In 2015, 97% of doctors ordered unnecessary tests that cost $210 billion. This raises the costs of insurance for everyone and is as a result of medical malpractice suits.