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Top Things to Check Before Signing an Employment Contract

— October 19, 2022

Checking every detail of your employment contract is a must before signing it. Otherwise, you may set yourself up for some bad times.

Before starting your work for any employer, you must read your employment contract. Now, of course, this part is not exactly fun. The document can be quite long and include legal words that you don’t understand too well. So, you may be tempted to skip some parts and not read the contract entirely.

However, going through this document can save you from potential problems. Even if a job pays well and is something that suits you and your skills, there may be aspects in the contract that you do not agree with. Still, offering your signature will make you obligated to accept those things. You don’t want to be among those 50% of people from the U.S. who have reported being stressed at work. 

What should you pay attention to before you sign an employment contract? Here are the top things to look at.

  • The Employment Period

Is this job a permanent one or a temporary one? 

A contract has to state your start date and end date, unless you are going to keep this job in the long term. If you plan on changing jobs later on, you should make sure that the date you leave is not the same as the date you start working for the other employer. 

  • Cause for Termination

Another thing that your contract should include is the cause for termination. The employer must tell you what your responsibilities are and what the organization expects from you. On top of that, they should also tell you what could result in your employment being terminated. 

For example, talking back to customers could be a reason to fire you if the contract states you’re not supposed to do it, while other organizations will not be okay with you working a freelancing job on the side. 

Each company is different, and you should understand what could result in you getting fired.

  • Sick Leave and Holiday Pay

    State Workers Say They Don't Have Enough Sick Time
    Photo by Brittany Colette on Unsplash

Emergencies could occur when you least expect them to, and you will be unable to work during these times. You may be ill and require sick leave. 

Other times, you may need a break and decide to go on a vacation. It’s your right to do so. 

But what does your contract say about this? You should look for this information. The fine print must include information about getting paid during sick leaves or holidays. Some organizations will not provide you with health insurance, sick leave, or any benefits. In this case, you may reconsider working with them. 

Also, the contract should mention how many days and hours you have for holidays, as well as what times of the year the holiday days should be used. While some firms will not mind you using your days whenever you want, others will only allow it between specific times. 

  • The Title of the Job and Your Duties

Your employment contract should state the job title and your duties. All duties should be the same as the ones you saw in the job description when you applied for the position. 

In case you notice anything different or something that contradicts the job description or duties in the posting, address this with the human resources manager or the hiring manager. It’s especially important to do this if the different duties mentioned do not align with your work ethic or skills. 

Ideally, you should not sign the contract if what you see is completely different than what you were initially told. 

  • Remuneration

Jobs have one purpose – to help us earn money that we can then use to pay for expenses like bills, rent, groceries, and others. So, it only makes sense that a contract should include details about your salary and bonuses.

The sum negotiated with the employer should also be stated on the contract – there should not be another sum written in the document. Let the employer know if the contract states something different. 

Furthermore, make sure the contract mentions paid bonuses, travel expenses, certain health benefits, and other such things. 

Final Thoughts

Checking every detail of your employment contract is a must before signing it. Otherwise, you may set yourself up for some bad times if the contract includes something you do not agree with. 

About 7.1 billion people work for the over 4 million small businesses in California. If you live in Los Angeles or any other Californian city, you should make sure your rights are protected. Los Angeles employment attorneys are ready to help you in this regard. 

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