These days, landing that dream job is not as easy as it once was. Too many people are vying for a single job, and you must be head and shoulders above the competition for a potential employer to notice you. When you finally get a job offer, it can be a thrilling experience and definitely one to celebrate.
However, before you pop the cork on a bottle of champagne, you will want to take some time to read and study the employment contract your new boss presents to you. An employment contract is not a formality, and it is not something you should sign without a scrupulous review and perhaps even some negotiation. Once your signature is on the document, you will want to be absolutely certain of the terms you have agreed to and are now legally bound to.
Don’t sign without reading
An employment contract outlines the terms of your job, what your employer expects from you, and what you can expect from your employer. It is useful in case questions arise down the line and either you or your boss disagree about your expectations. In general, employment contracts may include details about the following and other items:
- How much money you will earn, including your salary, commission, bonuses and other compensation
- When and how you can expect to be paid
- Details about all the benefits your job includes, such as health care, vacation and retirement
- The duties your job entails
- How long your job will last, if relevant
- Social media and communication policies
- A confidentiality agreement, restricting you from sharing trade secrets of the company
- A noncompete agreement, restricting you from working for the company’s competitor when you leave the job
Noncompete agreements can be especially slanted in favor of an employer, so you will want to make sure the contract does not place limits on you that will prevent you from finding gainful employment when you are looking for a new job.
You and your Rhode Island employer may have discussed these items in your interview or subsequent meetings. However, what matters in the long run is what is in the document you sign. If your employer made a verbal agreement but your contract says otherwise, it is critical to resolve that matter before you put your signature on the paper. In fact, it is not being overly cautious to obtain a legal review of the document and perhaps assistance with negotiations before you commit to the job.