Since employment contracts in Houston are legal documents, you want to make sure that the one you are drafting does not actually break the law. According to the Houston Chronicle, contract law defines whether the terms of the contract are enforceable. It includes both federal and state laws and how they apply to the agreements in your contract.
Just because there is some part of your contract that does not meet the law’s requirements, it does not necessarily affect the other provisions included. To make a ruling on a disputed contract, the court typically reviews the provision in question to make the determination of the legality of it. The interpretation is known as a legal precedent. Because the issue raised before the court is a question of law, the outcome of the case could change the way the law is interpreted in the future and affect the resulting decisions regarding other disputes. Consequently, there may be current court cases that will change whether provisions in your contract are legal.
Even though the rest of your contract may not be invalidated, you may still want to wait and see if the outcome of current cases changes its enforceability. To ensure that a change in precedent does not void the entire document, you may want to include a severability clause. If your employees do not challenge their contracts, changes in precedent may never affect you. However, leaving the possibility to chance could result in unnecessary litigation. This information is provided for educational purposes, but it is general in nature and should not be interpreted as legal advice.