Many jobs require an employee to sign an employment contract, which outlines the terms and conditions of the job, including the start date, potential end date, benefits, hours, salary, and terms of firing. While not all jobs require such a contract, more and more do these days, and millions of workers are signing contracts that are overly restrictive, unlawful, or outright discriminatory. Moreover, many employees do not fully understand what their employment contract demands of them, which can potentially cause the employee harm down the road when he or she wants to leave the employer.
Contract Workers Vs. Employees
A contract worker, or contractor, is not an employee of the company. He or she is essentially hired to perform a specific task and is not considered to be employed by the employer. As such, independent contract workers generally have fewer rights than employees, such as not having the right to sue an employer for sexual harassment or other anti-discrimination protections under federal law, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). However, under Pennsylvania law, many other workplace protections are granted to contract workers. Pennsylvania is one of only three states to do this for employees, according to the National Public Radio (NPR). Contract workers, just like employees, need to carefully review their contracts with the company for which they will work, and should immediately report any discrimination or wrongdoing to an attorney.
Aspects of an Employment Contract
All employee contracts differ from one to the next. However, some common terms and conditions of a normal employment contract may include some or even all of the following:
- Employee’s responsibilities
- Job duration
- Grounds for termination
- Whether the position is at-will or not
- Protection of trade secrets or client lists
- Non-compete clauses
- Conflict resolution methods to be used if necessary
- Employee ownership of creations during their job period
What Our Attorneys can do for You
An experienced HKM Employment Attorney can review your contract before you sign it, help you negotiate the terms with your employer, and stave off disaster by pointing out the fine print legal jargon that prohibits you from working in your field for five years after you quit, for example. Moreover, if you feel that your employer has violated the terms of your contract, or if you have signed an overly restrictive contract or a contract that discriminates against a protected characteristic, a lawyer can help.
Call a Pennsylvania Employment Contract Attorney Today for Assistance
Depending on your specific employment situation, there may be a legal remedy for your contract issue. If your contract is discriminatory, you may be able to file a claim. Similarly, if you already signed an overly restrictive or even unlawful employment contract, or your employer has violated the terms, we can help by filing a lawsuit.Or, if you need help understanding your contract or negotiating with your employer, an attorney can help with that too. Do not hesitate to get in touch with us today. The Pennsylvania HKM Employment Attorneys are here to help in any way that we can.