Before you can start working at a new job, you must read and sign your employment contract. It generally contains standard clauses about your new position, including your job description, grounds for termination, compensation details, non-compete restrictions and other information about your employment. However, some employment contracts can indicate unique conditions, depending on the resources you need to work with and the nature of your job.
Some aspects of your new job may require strict confidentiality and prohibitions, leading to more contract clauses. If these requisites seem strange, you might feel unwilling to sign your contract. However, there’s no need to feel overwhelmed by these unfamiliar terms. The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) identified some items employers can add to your employment contract:
- Confidentiality clauses or nondisclosure agreements
- Provisions about trade secrets
- Proprietary information security
- Limitations on employee rights to patents and inventions
Likewise, these clauses can also specify exclusions, detailing situations, timeframes and locations where they don’t apply.
Understanding laws protecting employer’s information
Your employer drew these clauses into your contract not to control you or take away your freedom but to secure company information and resources protected by Minnesota law. The state also adheres to the Uniform Trade Secrets Act, which reasonably safeguards employer trade secrets from theft. Nonetheless, you may still feel apprehensive about signing a document without fully understanding its implications.
If you are confused with any of these additional provisions in your employment contract, it won’t hurt to ask the employer’s representative for clarifications or more details. It makes more sense to inquire further than blindly signing these agreements. Learning about these provisions can also give you a better grasp of your new job.