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When a company hires a new employee, must the new hire be provided with an offer letter?

Although not required in the U.S., providing a candidate a written job offer is considered a good practice. Following up a verbal offer with a written offer will not only set expectations for the new employee, but also clarify any matters that were discussed during the interview phase. For example, an offer letter can provide details about the start date, any contingencies, such as passing a drug test or background check, the job title, and basic salary and benefits information. A written offer can also be an important piece of documentation in the event the new hire wants to negotiate salary or benefits. A candidate's signature on the final offer confirms he or she has accepted the position and its terms.

Employers that operate in states with wage theft prevention laws who wish to use the offer letter as their required notice of initial pay rates (and, in some cases, benefits information) will want to review those laws to ensure all required language is included in the offer.

To avoid creating a contractual agreement with your offer letter, please see detailed information here. Consult with your legal counsel to review your offer letter template before implementation. 


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