When you enter into an employment contract, you need to be very aware of your rights, negotiating power and goals. Before signing your contract, you should be absolutely sure that it protects you and values your work. Ask yourself the following questions:
What is the length of your contract?
There are many types of contracts, varying in term length and responsibilities. You should understand clearly if your contract is for a specific timeline, for the duration of a project, until a payment threshold is reached or is ongoing. If your contract can be renewed, what are the limitations? If you need to leave early, will you be fined or penalized?
Will you be able to take on supplemental work?
Many freelance workers and contractors sign a contract only to realize that, for the duration of their contract, they are unable to earn supplemental income. For many, this has a devastating impact on their income. You need to know if there are work limitations that apply to you because of your employment contract.
Are you subject to a noncompete agreement?
Many professionals’ employment contracts include some form of noncompete agreement. This can be devastating, especially for individuals whose work is based on client relationships, like financial advisors, salespersons and others. A noncompete clause will limit what clients you can work with, the resources you access and your career prospects long after your term of employment ends.
Are your compensation and benefits protected by enforceable terms?
In an employment contract, you need to ensure your earnings are safe. This means making sure there is a clear expectation for your earnings and route to recover any withheld pay.
Has an attorney reviewed your contract?
A legal professional can help you find the answers to your questions and spot any potential red flags in your employment contract.