What to Know Before Signing an Employment Contract

What to Know Before Signing an Employment Contract

Starting a new job is an exciting venture, but new territory can also present confusion and potential missed opportunities. When reading a career contract for the next step in your career, there might be contract provisions that you are not comfortable with, yet the legal jargon makes it difficult for the untrained eye to account for everything. An employment contract lawyer can help safeguard you against undesirable clauses within that paperwork, making the necessary changes before anything gets signed.

To better prepare you for what you and an employment contract lawyer might discuss when reviewing said paperwork, here is some more information on what you should know before signing on the dotted line.

What You and Your Employment Contract Lawyer Will Keep an Eye Out For:

  1. Non-Compete Clauses

People often switch companies, not industries, which means employers might include contract provisions that specify whether current employees can work for a similar company in the same sector deemed a competitor, should the current contract end. For example, X shipping company is a competitor of the Y shipping company. You have been working at X for three years and have an offer from Y. Your contract with X states that you cannot work for a competitor for at least nine months following your leave from company X. If you were to work for company Y in less than nine months, you would be in breach of the contract.

While these contract provisions are understandable from a trade secret perspective, they can make moving up or laterally in an industry rather difficult. Lawyers for employment contracts can look at your old and new paperwork, ensuring that nothing is conflicting. They would also advocate removing a non-compete clause with a new employer, should you decide it is desirable.

  1. Salary and Benefits

It might not be done with malicious intent, but you might be told one number in an offer meeting only to see another figure written in your contract. An employment contract lawyer will ensure that your salary and benefits align with what you were promised and what is written in the job description, guaranteeing that if you take on additional work, you will have a chance for a raise. Your employment contract lawyer might even write additional contract provisions to ensure that your workload does not increase without a pay raise meeting or consideration. This step in the meeting with your employment contract lawyer will ensure that you are signing on for exactly what you agreed to.

  1. Start Date

This step might seem frivolous, but it is often overlooked, causing problems for everyone involved. Your employment contract lawyer will want to double-check that your end date with your current company does not overlap with your sign-on date for the new venture. You might also consider ensuring that you have some time off to rest between your end and start dates. Still, at the very least, your employment contract lawyer will double-check that you are not expected in the office at the new company while still under contract at the soon-to-be old one.

4. Holidays

While many companies adopt similar vacation and holiday policies, others vary or utilize a case-by-case system. Suppose certain holidays are not widely observed but are important to you. In that case, an employment contract lawyer can ensure that the flexibility and freedom to observe said holidays are written in as contract provisions. By doing so, you can make sure that there are no pay disturbances should you take these days off or away from the office. This section might also involve paid time off, any suggested or designated times when taking vacations is preferred, and how many sick days you can take.

Whether you are starting a new job or want to re-negotiate a pre-existing contract, Krogh & Decker, LLP has qualified lawyers for employment contracts ready to assist and guide you on every step of the journey. Please contact us today to book an appointment with an employment contract lawyer.

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