If I have an employment agreement and sign it but my employer does not send it back to me signed, is the agreement in force?

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If I have an employment agreement and sign it but my employer does not send it back to me signed, is the agreement in force?

Asked on April 12, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Illinois

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

It depends on who originated the agreement and whether  it was demoninated or described as a final agreement. There are three basic scenarios:

1) You drafted or originated the agreement, signed it, and sent it to the employer. An enforceable contract is formed when there is an offer made by one party, accepted by the other. In this case, you made  the offer, but the employer has not accepted it; ergo, no enforceable agreement.

2) The employer sent you a contract but stated that it was for review or discussion only and was not for signature or was not a final agreement. In that case, while there was negotiation, there was no actual offer, and hence nothing for you to accept to form a contract.

3) The employer sent you a contract which was--or at least, based on their communications to you, reasonably seemed to you to be--a firm offer. In that case, since they extended the offer to you, once you accepted it, as evidenced by your signature, you would seem to have an enforceable contract.


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