At some point in your career, you may be asked to sign an employment contract. While this may be presented as if it is no big deal at all, in reality, it can be a very big deal later if you and your employer part ways.
Let’s examine employment contracts and their purpose to determine whether you should sign one or not.
What are the terms of the contract?
Your contract might be for a limited time — 90 days, six months, a year, etc. It should also mention the wages or salary you shall receive for services rendered. Some contracts expressly spell out the days and hours you are expected to work. Others are more generic.
An employee’s basic responsibilities will likely be listed, as well as a job description. Make sure that you read everything, including the fine print, before signing it.
Are the terms all clear and complete?
While these are often separate documents entirely, some businesses may incorporate several features into one contract for brevity. For instance, your employment contract may contain both a confidentiality clause and a non-compete agreement.
What are the benefits and perks?
Your employment contract should describe the benefits you will receive as an employee of the company, including:
- Pension benefits
- Health insurance
- Life insurance
- Vacation days
- Per diem pay
You should have a good working understanding of all terms and conditions of your employment after reading the contract. If something is unfamiliar, ask what it means. Then, verify the answer after consulting with a business law attorney.
Don’t get rushed into signing
Any company that is worth working for should understand an employee’s need to have their attorney do a thorough document review before signing off on any agreement. Treat it as the red flag it is if a company is pressuring you to sign an employment contract on the spot.