Elements of a Contract
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First and foremost most, a customary approach of determining legally binding e existence of contracts is assessing the concept of offer and acceptance. This analysis provides a bottom line view of existence of an agreement between parties. It is traditional for an offer to exist first before an acceptance. For further enhancement of knowledge it will be wise at this juncture for us to intertwine the concept of offer into our case scenario.
In our case scenario, it is alleged that the former employee of a fabulous hotel had signed a contract with his the previous employees that he or she could not accept a position as a chef in any the same metropolitan area within a period of two years after leaving the job. In legal terms it is always wise to approach such an agreement in a stepwise manner in a bid to analyze its legality
The evidence should state with crystal clarity if there was an offer. An offer is termed as a definitive, unequivocal and manifestation by one party to enter into an agreement with another party. In the case of dispute cited above, it is expected that proof be brought forward that depict that there was indeed an offer. In law, the party that brings forward the deal is normally termed as the offeror while the one being targeted is known as the offeree (Orawetz,1927).
There are various characteristics that then govern the offer. In the case of the dispute a proof is needed. Where then do the legal officers involved get it? Legal officers expect written evidence, oral evidence and probably evidence that the offer was implied. From the scenario, it is expected that the fabulous hotel comes up with something to confirm the offer. This will of course happen if there is a breach of contract from the party. One other essential rules of an offer are that they should have been communicated to the offeree. The former employee of the hotel can definitely defend himself/herself in case the offer was not communicated to him or her. Clarity is also essential in offer. If there is ambiguity in the offer it will always tend to leave some loopholes that might be exploited at any minute. It should be noted that an offer may be revoked any time before acceptance (Barron,2006).Examples of such include insanity that is if any of the parties involved are considered not to be in the right shape of mind at the time a deal is struck.
If the offeree is content with the tabled offer, he or she is expected to assent. On these grounds an agreement has been reached between the parties. An agreement between the employee of the hotel and employers should contain consensus ad idem. For the employee to have accepted the offer,oral,written and implied conduct must have been depicted. An example of acceptance is a signature in a given contractual document. This will bind both the employer and the employee together. It is also expected that he or she must have been aware of the intention of accepting the offer. If the employee was not aware that signing particular papers ruled him out if getting access to a job in the same place as the hotel, he or she is not considered to have accepted the offer. The offer should also be accepted in the terms and conditions provided. Any modification of the offer will lead to what is known as conditional acceptance. The employee must also have accepted the offer within the stipulated time.
Contractual capacity is one other vital element of a contract. This is always referred to particularly as the ability of person to enter into a contract. All persons are entitled with a right to enter into contract. However the law has correctly limited the capacity of selected classes of persons in the society. Such persons include
- Drunk people
- Persons of unsound mind
- Bankrupt people
In our case, one can clearly see that if the employer and the employee entered into an agreement with the employee being of unsound mind, an agreement will not be considered legally binding at all. The law limits the capacity of such people and no one nevertheless is allowed to take advantage of their situation. If it is also proven that the cited employee was drunk at the time of agreement, an agreement would not stand. This is just to highlight how the concept of contractual capacity can affect the dispute between the employer and the employee.
A contract will also be unenforceable if it lacks consideration. It is defined as “an act offered by one party and accepted by the other party as a price for that others promise”. In our case, any mutual promises between the employer and the employee are considered as executory consideration. Any acts by the employee to support the employees claim is termed as executed consideration. This are two essential components that are normally applied in contractual claims.However, they must be legal, real and present. Love shown between the parties is not a show of consideration.
Last but not least, a contract must have legality of purpose. It is a rule that any contract that is not legal is void. A disagreement between an employee and the fabulous hotel will automatically result into assessment of the alleged contract for legality. Most legal systems across the globe will tend to look into the component with close scrutiny. If it is found illegal for any company or business to restrict former employees to a job, the agreement is declared void. Any supportive claims by the hotel in question will the thrown against the wind.
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This category of law is normally fall into the category of business law. Such contracts fall into common law. Such laws are continuously developed by judges and legal officers through day in day out court proceedings.
The above scenario is a non-compete in that it limits a former employee from boosting the performance of a similar hotel in the vicinity. In some states like California, laws have been passed that make such non compete laws unenforceable. Courts also take a non-compete agreement as unenforceable if the employer gives the employee the document for signature after employment.Also,firing an employee for refusing to sign a non-compete document is these days considered an offence in law.
It is highly recommended that people venturing into various business opportunities acquire some knowledge on business law. Employers and employees are continuously facing the wrath of law due to lack of knowledge. The essence of law cannot be underestimated at all. It is wise to know various state laws as they govern all businesses in the state. A safer bet would be to hire a professional lawyer or legal advisor to avoid common mishaps.
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