Getting a new job is an exciting experience. There is both the stress and thrill of presenting your past accomplishments while outlining your professional goals, passions, and drives. Taking a new job leads to planning out new opportunities. There will also be decisions for you to make including negotiating salary and benefits as well as signing off on an employment agreement. This agreement is meant to protect both the employer and the employe.
This post will go through what an employment agreement is and what parts you should expect to find in your next agreement.
What is an Employment Agreement?
Let's start with the basics. An employment agreement is a document signed by both an employer and an employee. This document is meant to be binding, and both parties hold the other to what is in the agreement. Typically an employment agreement gets signed during the onboarding process. The agreement will detail the rules, rights, and responsibilities for both parties. The agreement may be general for all employees for that company and may also include additional requirements or provisions. This document remains in effect during the employee's tenure with the business.
What Parts are in an Employment Agreement
- Job Title: Expect to have your job title spelled out. Review to ensure the level (junior, senior, executive, etc.) is correct.
- Job Description: This section will list the roles and responsibilities of your job title. Check for designations such as contractor or employee. Look out for vague sections, such as “other duties as assigned.” You will need to be flexible to a certain extent, but ensure the job responsibilities reflect your expectations.
- Compensation: Find a listing of your specific payment amount and schedule (every week, every other week, once per month, etc.). Here is also the place to point out whether you are a salary or an hourly worker. Look for bonuses and payment structures, including raise opportunities.
- Benefits: Beyond compensation, many companies offer further benefits. Look for specifics on health, vision, dental, and life insurance or benefits. There may be additional savings, tuition forgiveness, or perks you negotiated - look for those here.
- Time off: There should be a section on how to manage days off. Look for a number of paid time off (PTO) or vacation days, amount of sick days, and amount of days for bereavement. The process for requesting or taking days off will be listed here. Make sure to check state laws for any inconsistencies.
- Noncompete Clause: This section is where the company will list any restrictions for you working in the industry after leaving.
- Termination Info: Look for steps necessary for the employer to fire an employee. If you decide to quit, the process for that should also here.
With legal rights in terms of a job, it is typically better to have everything spelled out in a clear document. It is almost impossible to plan for every potential outcome or scenario, but this document should help the employee and the employer line up their expectations.
The legal team at Pitt, McGehee, Palmer, & Rivers has experience defending workers’ rights and negotiating contracts. If you have an issue with your contract or believe your rights have been violated, give us a call today at (248) 398-9800.