It can be tempting for a Texas resident to sign an employment contract as soon as it is presented to them. Given the current tough economic times, few want to go through the fine print of a contract, as long as it has the basics included.
However, failing to understand the terms of one’s employment contract can have serious consequences—if an employee is unable to uphold any part of it, he or she may be liable for damages. It might also limit an employee’s future employment prospects, so it is important to understand what one is signing up for.
An employment contract should generally include the following:
- The agreed upon salary or commission, including the payment schedule;
- The work schedule. Depending on the type of employment one is doing, this could be days of the week or just a number of hours every week.
- Duration of the work. Again, depending on the type of employment, the duration could be for a set amount of time or for an ongoing time. It might also be possible that a minimum amount of time is laid out and options to regularly renew the contract are included.
- An employee’s tasks and an employer’s responsibilities. This could be the work an employee has to perform and the benefits an employer has to provide as a result.
- Confidentiality and future competition. While these can be included in the employment contract, it is possible that an employer sets out a separate set of agreements for these two aspects. It is important to understand these obligations, as they outline the secrets of one’s employment and also employment restrictions once the current job finishes.
- Ownership terms. This agreement will outline who owns the work an employee produces during their employment.
Generally, big companies have a lot of resources at their disposal and bargaining power, which is why an employee might feel intimidated into signing a contract that is not favorable to them. An experienced attorney can not only help them negotiate a fair contract, but also explain the finer points of the contract so they are aware of their obligations.