What should I look for in an employment contract?

If you are currently looking for a job in New York City, you are probably anticipating being made an offer on a rewarding and fulfilling new career. While getting the job of your dreams is top priority, it’s also important to pay close attention to what’s actually included in an employment contract. Failure to do so could land you in hot water if the job offered isn’t exactly what you expected.

According to Business Insider, many employment contracts feature somewhat confusing language that can have serious consequences if not understood. Should you leave a place of employment and then actively pursue former co-workers for inclusion in new opportunities, you could run afoul of any non-solicit of employment clauses contained within your contract. These clauses are intended to protect employers from losing valuable workers but can have serious consequences for small business owners in search of talented individuals.

You also want to be careful that an employment contract doesn’t block you from finding a position in your chosen field. Employers may also attempt to prevent former employees from taking their talents (as well as proprietary information) to directly competing companies, which is usually accomplished via non-compete clauses. These clauses often entail restrictions on where you can work after you leave a job, or even put limitations on how soon you can accept an offer from a competitor.

If you’ve developed any new technologies or concepts, you should carefully inspect your contract for clauses related to ownership of new inventions. Telling your current employer about any potential inventions can prevent this from happening, as you will have established that you developed your idea before beginning work. Employers may attempt to claim your inventions for their own if you should choose to capitalize on your idea in the future. 

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