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Seven Reasons Why You Should Consider Hiring a Lawyer for Your Employment Contract

May 24, 2023 Employment Law

Too many people think that signing their employment contract is just a formality. They rely on their employer to tender a contract that is fair and easy to understand. These assumptions, however, can lead to some rather unfortunate situations. Your employment contract is a critical document that serves many important purposes – in addition to determining compensation, it will define the scope of the employee’s relationship with the employer, detail the rights and obligations of the parties, and control what will happen in the event that a dispute arises. Invest in your future and seek professional advice from an experienced employment lawyer

1. Your Lawyer Can Help You Understand Your Employment Contract

Employment contracts are typically rife with legal jargon that can be difficult even for lawyers to understand. Some provisions can appear to be harmless boilerplate but can actually address very important matters. Many employees can find themselves in disputes and not realize that the issue is clearly addressed in their contract. Your employer may not even fully understand all of the provisions. 

An employment lawyer can review the contract and then walk through each provision with you. They can explain what each provision means for you and highlight any potential issues. Even if you decide not to negotiate any aspects of your employment contract, you will at least have a better understanding of what it contains. 

2. Your Lawyer Can Ensure That Oral Representations Are Included in the Contract

While oral agreements are sometimes enforceable in the state of California, it is always better to have them reduced to writing. Furthermore, making sure that any oral representations are included in the contract can prevent misunderstandings and other conflicts from arising in the future. An employment lawyer can review your employment contract and make sure it contains all of the terms and conditions that were discussed by you and your employer before the contract was presented to you for signature. 

3. They Can Make Sure That All Necessary Provisions Are Included 

While your contract may appear to be complete, it is not unusual for an employment contract to be missing certain key elements. Your employment contract should, at a minimum, include the following provisions: 

  • Compensation and benefits
  • Your name and the name of your employer
  • Whether your employment is for a specific period of time or until you quit or are termination
  • Your designation, role, and duties
  • Grounds for termination and the process by which you can be terminated
  • What your remedies are in the event that your employer breaches the contract
  • Whether you must complete a probationary period
  • What law will control any disputes and which jurisdiction will handle any litigation

It is often difficult to tell whether or not your contract contains the necessary provisions or whether the provisions are adequate. For example, your contract may give only a very basic description of your job duties when a more detailed description may be appropriate. 

4. An Employment Attorney Can Make Sure Your Contract Is Fair

Many employment contracts are surprisingly one-sided and rarely in favor of the employee. For example, your employment contract may entitle your employer to recover their legal fees and costs in the event of a dispute but not provide you with the same opportunity. 

While some provisions can be made mutual, there are other provisions that may require further consideration. For example, non-compete and non-solicitation clauses are often overly-restrictive and highly problematic. An experienced employment lawyer can review your contract to make sure that it is fair for both sides, but especially for you. 

5. Your Attorney Can Provide Guidance

Many people simply do not understand their options when it comes time to sign their employment agreement. They are worried that if they show any hesitation, the job offer will be withdrawn or that their relationship with their new employer will get off on the wrong foot. In addition, they do not know whether the contract is negotiable, how the negotiation process will work, or what they can reasonably expect. Your lawyer can explain your options, from simply being aware of potential pitfalls to what provisions you may be able to negotiate. 

6. An Employment Lawyer Can Negotiate Your Employment Contract on Your Behalf

Should you decide to negotiate the terms of your contract, your lawyer can handle the entire process from start to finish. They can propose and write the revisions to the contract and handle all of the back-and-forth communications with your employer. And even though you are not directly handling the negotiations, you are in control of the process – your attorney acts at your direction and is ethically prohibited from accepting any terms or conditions without your approval. 

Furthermore, employment lawyers are often deeply experienced negotiators. They can use their experience to negotiate the best possible contract quickly and cost-effectively so that you can begin your new job with confidence. 

7. They Can Be a Future Resource

Working with an employment lawyer on your employment contract means that you now have someone who is intimately familiar with your situation that you can call on with questions or potential issues, such as FMLA or wage disputes. In the event that you get laid off, they can negotiate your severance agreement. And of course, they can help you with your employment contract at your next job. 

Contact Attorneys for Employees for Help with Your Employment Agreement

Starting a new job and signing a new contract is an exciting moment, but don’t let your excitement overshadow the potential legal realities. Invest in your future and let us help you avoid the common pitfalls. We can review your employment contract, identify the potential issues, and then discuss your options with you. To get started, get in touch to schedule a consultation.