An employment contract outlines the employment terms, including duration of employment, benefits, payments and who the employee reports to. Once you sign the contract, it means you agree and will abide by the terms therein as long as you remain an employee of that company.
“An employment contract is a huge commitment; you want to ensure that you are comfortable with all the terms and conditions included,” says Gregory B. Noble, an attorney at The Sattiraju Law Firm, P.C.” “Knowing what you are getting yourself into is beneficial as it will determine your satisfaction. This is one of the biggest reasons why you should have an attorney review your employment agreement before you can sign it.”
Some people believe that having a lawyer review an employment contract spells mistrust, or that it might show them in a bad light to their new employers, but it is not true.
Having someone with a trained eye to look over your contract, and ensure that you understand your responsibilities and rights, as well as those of your new employers, can mean the difference between an incredible experience and a less fulfilling one.
Here are five reasons why you need an attorney to review your employment contract:
A lawyer has your best interest
Whoever writes a contract will in some ways make it fair enough for the employee to want to sign it, but still leans it in favor of the employer. Ask yourself why a company would want to write a contract that gives you more advantage over them. For that reason, you should have an expert who represents your best interest to go over the contract and advise you accordingly.
Know the job details
An employment agreement should indicate your working schedule, like how many days you need to work as well as the shifts. It’s also important to know when you might be on-call, because if it’s not specified in the agreement, you may end up being on-call much more frequently than you expected or wanted.
A seasoned employment attorney can help an employee clarify language that may appear to be self-evident on the surface. For example, from a hospital perspective, a contract may say 40 hours’ work week, which is easy enough. But is this 40 patient contact hours or 40 office hours? If it’s the former, do you need to be in front of the patient physically, or is that inclusive of hospital rounds?
If not correctly worded, non-compete clauses in the agreement can make your next job search harder. Your employment attorney will help you to establish whether the contract prohibits you from working within a certain radius of your previous office or the whole city. They will also inform you of how long the clause will be effective.
If it’s unclear, your attorney will help you determine who covers insurance in your time as an employee, and after you leave the company. You’ll also know who’s responsible for tail insurance, dental, and medical insurance.