Starting a new job can be stressful for Twin Cities residents. If you’ve been out of work for a while, you may be nervous about re-entering the workforce, while if you are changing industries, you may wonder if you’ve made the right choice.
Along with these challenges, your new employer may ask you to sign an employment contract. An employment contract is good for both employees and the employer, as it clearly lays out each side’s duties, responsibilities and expectations, increasing the chances of a successful professional relationship.
The job and the salary
An employment contract generally starts out with a description of the job and the requirements and duties involved in the position. The contract should also specify if the employee is considered a full-time employee, part-time employee or an independent contractor.
Information about salary and benefits typically comes next, as that is the biggest concern of most employees. This information should be detailed, clearly spelling out all pertinent information about insurance, retirement plans, raises, bonuses and any other benefit related items.
Time off and termination
After the salary and benefits, vacation and leave time is often the next biggest priority. If vacation or leave time is accrued, how it is accrued and how often should be written out in a non-vague manner that leaves no room for confusion. If the time is given in bulk, the amount of time and any expiration period should be included.
Although neither party wants to think about the employment ending, information about how termination will be handled, and any severance options should be a part of any employment contract. This can help prevent future disputes, and for employees, can sometimes affect unemployment benefits.
Most employment contracts contain some basic terms designed to benefit both parties. Language stating that the contract represents the complete and entire agreement is common, as well as terms stating that both employer and employee have knowingly and voluntarily entered into the agreement.
Starting a new job can be overwhelming. If you are asked to sign an employment contract, it may be a good idea to review it with an attorney prior to signing.