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Things to consider before signing an employment contract

On Behalf of | Feb 19, 2024 | Employment Law For Employees |

When starting a new job, you will likely have to sign an employment contract outlining the terms and conditions of your work. Before signing, it is important to thoroughly review the agreement to ensure you understand what you are consenting to.

There are a few things to look for when you read the contract.

Compensation and benefits

Make sure you understand the details of your compensation package, including your base salary, eligibility for raises and bonuses and paid time off. Know exactly what you will receive and when before you sign. This helps to set expectations and eliminate any compensation-related uncertainties.

Grounds for termination

Employment contracts typically include clauses on when an employer can terminate your employment. Understand under what circumstances you could lose your job, such as failure to meet performance standards, misconduct, restructuring or budget cuts. Ensure the grounds are reasonable and give you opportunities, including performance improvement plans, before termination.

Non-compete clauses

If included, scrutinize any non-compete clauses restricting your ability to work for a competitor after leaving your employer. Make sure the restrictions include limits on the duration and geographic scope and do not hamper your ability to earn a living. Be clear on what companies or activities the restrictions include to avoid legal issues down the road.

Employment contracts can be complex and confusing. Before you sign an employment agreement, take time to thoroughly read and understand it. The more you understand, the less risk you face of confusion or potential complications. An informed employee who knows their contractual rights and responsibilities sets themselves up for success from the start.