If you are about to sign an employment contract to start a new job, chances are that the excitement will outweigh your desire to pick through the fine print. Most soon-to-be employees will sign an employment contract, virtually no matter what it says, simply because they do not take the time to read it. Even if they did, some employment contracts are written with so much jargon and legal nomenclature that they seem like the intent is to confuse the employee. An experienced attorney can help you cut through the roundabout way that your employment contract was written to see the truth, and from there, an attorney can help you determine if this employment contract is really in your best interest. Many employment contracts contain unfavorable clauses for the employee that should be changed or eliminated entirely. You should have a say in your terms of employment, and a Pennsylvania HKM Employment Attorney can help make this a reality.
What is in a Typical Employment Contract?
Employment contracts detail all of the terms and conditions that the employer and employee must meet. The following are typically included in an employment contract:
- Duration of the job
- Responsibilities of the employee
- Justifications for termination
- Whether or not the job is an at-will position
- Benefits such as vacation days, group healthcare, sick days, and others
- Trade secret obligations
- Non compete clause
- Methods for dispute resolution when disagreements arise
- What the employee owns in terms of documents and other property obtained during the job
As per Stumpp v. Stroudsburg Municipal Authority, Pennsylvania is an at-will employment state, meaning that an employer can fire an employee at any time for any reason, aside from reasons such as discrimination or retaliation. Another exception to this rule is when an employee has a contract that specifically outlines when the employee can be fired. Some employers overstep their own employment contract and fire employees when they have no legal grounds to do so.
Reviewing Potentially Unfair Clauses
It may have seemed like a good idea to sign the contract and start working back then, but now that you are ready to leave the job, it is not looking so bright. This is an unfortunate reality that many employees face when they want to terminate their employment with their current employer, only to find that it will harm them significantly to do so. This was the case for many Sinclair employees, who had agreed to a liquidated damage clause to leave before their term of employment was up. This clause required them to pay up to 40% of their annual pay to Sinclair if they left, as reported by the Pittsburgh Post Gazette.
Our Pennsylvania Employment Attorneys can Help
Whether your employment contract has a non-compete clause, liquidated damage clause, or any other clause or wording that could potentially cause you harm, an attorney should look over your contract before you sign it. Call the Pennsylvania HKM Employment Attorneys at 412-368-5754 today to have your contract reviewed.