Employment Contracts: Four Tips Every Employee Should Know

When you’re new to a job, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of starting your career and overlook the employment contract you’re given to sign. This mistake can have legal and monetary consequences that could have been prevented through proper attention to detail. Employment contracts are crucial to any job and protect the employer and the employee. Here are four tips every employee should know about employment contracts.

Familiarize Yourself with the Contract

Before signing an employment contract, make sure that you read it and that you understand and agree with all its clauses. Take the time to read it carefully and clarify any doubts you may have with the HR department. Remember that you’re not just signing any standard document but committing to certain terms that will affect your working conditions and compensation. So, make sure you understand every detail, including perks and benefits.

Know What You’re Signing Up For

Some employment contracts may include non-compete or non-disclosure agreements, which could limit your employment opportunities even after your current employment ends. Such agreements protect the company’s business interests but may limit employees’ future job prospects. Thus, you should know the duration of the agreements and evaluate whether the clauses align with your career objectives.

Look for Red Flags

Some employment contracts may include one-sided and unfavorable clauses to you as an employee. For instance, a contract prohibiting employees from discussing their pay is a red flag as it could be interpreted as an intention to hide disparities. It could also violate your state law, depending on the state you live in. Similarly, a contract that doesn’t specify the nature of your employment (full-time, part-time, or contract) could leave you at the mercy of your employer. Therefore, always look out for clauses that put you at a disadvantage and negotiate if possible.

If you need to become more experienced in reviewing legal documents and are unsure about some clauses, seek professional legal advice. An experienced employment lawyer can interpret the legal language in the contract, point out any potential pitfalls, and provide insight into the best way to negotiate specific clauses. Legal advice can be expensive, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Final Thoughts

An employment contract is more than a document confirming your working terms and conditions. It’s a legal agreement that binds both the employee and employer. Therefore, it’s vital to understand the details and what you’re committing to before signing any document. Review the document carefully, look for red flags, and seek legal advice. Remember, reading and understanding the employment contract could save you a lot of time, money, and stress in the long term.

The skilled lawyers at The Bourassa Law Group can help you learn more about employment contracts. We can help you every step of the way and ensure you can positively discuss employee rights. Give us a call at (800)870-8910 for a free consultation, and let’s get started.

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