If the employment contract of our maintenance person expired and they were offered another one a week ago which they didn’t sign but are still in possession of, what are our liabilities/obligations for them?

As of today, the individual went to work like business as usual. He is a 14 year employee and we are worried about our liabilities/obligations regarding his work and benefits.

Asked on September 1, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If he is an employee, there is no need for an employment contract--most employees don't have them. If you want a contract, then you can tell him to sign immediately or within whatever time frame you deem appropriate or be fired--he has no right to not sign if he employer wishes him to. In the meantime, if there is no contract with him, your only obligation to is to pay him, including providing the benefits you have been providing until and unless you provide him notice that they are changing, for any work he actually does and since he is your employee, you are liable for his non-criminal actions e.g. his negligence done in the course of employment.
Note that even if you have previously treated him like an independent contractor or "1099 employee," if he is subject to your direction as to how and when to do his job e.g. his hours you can manage how and what he does to any degree you choose, then he IS an employee in the eyes of the law, not a contractor.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.