Top 10 Considerations For Your Ideal Employee Contract
With the economy the way that it is, you already know how hard it is to get your name out there, let alone get noticed by a potential employer. Just because you need a job doesn’t mean that you should just accept from any employer who happens to look twice at you, however.
There are important factors to consider before signing your name to any sort of employee contract. The following are the top ten things you should consider before accepting a contract job.
1. Job Description
Even before you sign your name on anything you should have an idea of what sort of job you can expect from each employer. This is especially important to consider if you know you’ll be locked into a job contract for some amount of years.
2. Job Security
Surprisingly job security is not a given with every job offer out there. Sometimes you have to read between the lines in contracts and see what sort of terms the contract uses. You definitely want to check and see if you are an at-will or fixed-term employee as this can determine the sort of protection you can have from involuntary termination.
3. Start and End Dates
There has to be a period of time expressly stated in your contract or it’s not an actual job offer. Additionally, make sure to carefully read terms and conditions to see if there is any information on termination policy. Sometimes employee contracts can stipulate that termination can occur at any time with a certain number of days’ notice for any reason, so it’s important to look for catches like this.
Now we get to the heart of the matter. It’s important to know upfront what your base pay will be. It’s also important to figure out if bonuses are automatic or discretionary so that you can know what to expect later on down the line.
5. Termination Clauses
Make sure that there’s some sort of just-cause rule in place for termination so that you can’t be terminated at any time for any reason.
6. Any Non-Solicitation Rules
Sometimes a company will stipulate that you’re not able to complete business with former coworkers after your contract has ended. If that’s the case make sure to know upfront how long that post-employment period is so that you’re adequately prepared.
7. Noncompete Clause
Be very careful that you don’t sign an agreement, which enforces the notion that once your contract is complete you can’t work for any competitors to the company. This will severely limit your employment options after your contract expires, and you don’t want to cause yourself more difficulty down the line.
It may be expressly stated in your contract that any inventions or creative endeavors you supply while in that company’s employ belong to them entirely. This may even apply if you work outside the company on a side project, so be sure to go through the terms of employment and copyright rules carefully. If you’re already working on a personal project when you sign on to the contract, you’ll want to let your employer know upfront and work out your own terms so that you can retain the rights to your own project.
9. Terms of Moonlighting
If you’re planning on doing some additional work on the side while on contract, you’ll want to check in and make sure that your contract doesn’t prohibit you from doing just that.
10. Employer Sale
But what if the company is sold during your contract period? It’s important to clear right upfront how the company being sold can affect you. Will you still have a job with them, or can you expect termination? Keeping terms clear can help you plan ahead.
Consider Consulting a Professional
It is very common for business owners to consult a business lawyer or contract attorney (like this one) before making the offer to you. It is just as sound for you to run the document past a contract lawyer before signing on the dotted line Ensure your rights are upheld too.
While signing on for an employee contract can offer you plenty of benefits, it’s also important to consider all of your terms before signing your name to anything. Being cautious can save you time and frustration in the long run.
Brad Simmons works for a Clearwater contract attorney at Ziegler Law Office. As a Clearwater contract attorney, Brad’s law firm works to help businesses and employees navigate contract laws and regulations.
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