A one-sided contract, also known as a unilateral contract, is an agreement in which only one party is obligated to fulfill its terms. This means that one party, usually the party with more bargaining power, has the ability to enforce the contract against the other party without being bound to do anything themselves.
Examples of one-sided contracts can be found in a variety of industries, including employment agreements and consumer contracts. In an employment agreement, the employer may require the employee to sign a non-compete agreement or a confidentiality agreement. These agreements are one-sided because the employer is not bound by any similar restrictions and can enforce the terms of the agreement against the employee at any time.
Similarly, consumer contracts can also be one-sided. For example, when you purchase software, you may be required to agree to a license agreement that limits your ability to modify or share the software. Meanwhile, the software vendor is not bound by any similar restrictions and can enforce the agreement against you if you violate its terms.
One-sided contracts are not always enforceable, however. Courts may refuse to enforce a one-sided contract if it is deemed to be unconscionable or if there is evidence of fraud, duress, or undue influence. In addition, some states have laws that limit the enforceability of certain types of one-sided contracts, such as non-compete agreements.
In conclusion, a one-sided contract is also known as a unilateral contract. It is an agreement in which only one party is obligated to fulfill its terms, while the other party is not bound by any similar restrictions. Despite their prevalence in many industries, one-sided contracts may not always be enforceable, depending on the circumstances.