Employment Contracts

Introduction

Employment contracts and handbooks can be just as critical to review as salary when deciding whether to take a job offer.  These contracts can limit your ability to work in other locations and may even eliminate your ability to sue the company if anything goes wrong.  It is also very surprising that many of these things are negotiable before accepting the position.

What Should I Review?

Before accepting a position, you should always ask to review any employee handbooks, rule books, or anything else you will be required to abide by in addition to anything you must sign to accept the position.  Many people fear that an employer will be turned off by this, but often times, the opposite is true: it shows that you are going to be an intelligent, forward-thinking employee who is committed to following the company’s policies.  In most situations, the worst-case scenario for requesting the info is that it has no effect on your chances because the company is large and the hiring manager is less invested in whether you succeed.

When Should I Request the Documents?

The easiest way to know is to ask at the end of your interview when a decision will be made.  If a second round of interviews are planned, then you are normally expected to wait until you know whether or not you are being called back.  If the decision will be based upon the first round of interviews only or you are at the final round of interviews, ask before you leave so a copy of the handbook can be handed to you before exiting the office – do not assume an electronic copy can be easily sent you later.  If instinct tells you that asking for the information will hurt your chances (which in my experience is very rare), then wait until the offer is made.

Why Should I Contact a Lawyer?

A lawyer can often help you wade through the legal jargon of your contract for a small fee.  The explanations of what rights you are waiving can be extremely useful when trying to determine which competing offers to take, or whether or not to take an offer at all.  Lawyers can perform a salary analysis to see if the offer being made is what we normally see in your field.  Finally, a lawyer can suggest areas where you may want to negotiate, ask questions, or express concerns over terms in the employee handbook and/or contract, and can even help you draft a letter to your potential employer going over these things.

We offer all of the above-mentioned services, and can even break these services up so you only pay for what you need.  If you feel any of these services would be of benefit to you, contact us today to discuss your options.