Employment contracts can be written or implied (implied contracts are based on oral representations, agreements, or understandings, or even a course of dealing, including practice and tradition). Indeed, every employer and employee relationship is based on some form of contact. If there is no written contract governing an employment relationship, then there is an implied contract. Standard terms in employment contracts include the amount of compensation and benefits, job title and date the employment commences, as well as how the employment relationship will end. In Oregon, as in most states, unless an employment contract states otherwise, virtually all employment is "at will," meaning that either employer or employee can terminate the relationship at any time, with or without notice, for no reason or for any legal reason. Some written employment contracts are term agreements, including a mutual exchange of promises to continue the employment relationship for a set period of time, subject to termination for "good cause" and otherwise providing for a notice period prior to any termination. In today's workplace, besides the fundamental terms of employment, contracts frequently address issues of confidentiality, assignment of inventions (e.g. work for hire), and a wide variety of restrictive covenants such as noncompete and nonsolicitation agreements. Other documents that can create contractual obligations include offer letters, employment handbooks, and written policies (although most of these will expressly state "this is not a contract"). Every Oregon contract contains an implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, although this implied covenant cannot be used to vary the express terms of a written contract.
Oregon physician contracts contain many provisions governing their employment that are unique to the profession, as well as standard contract legalese that may seem foreign to physicians.
The employment relationship is at its heart a contractual relationship.
The successful negotiation of severance agreements is an art and a science.