If you just landed a job, particularly if you are in a technological field, your new boss may very well present you with an employment contract. The strong temptation in this situation, especially if you have been unemployed, are straight out of school, or will be receiving a substantial raise, is to sign whatever they put in front of you. After all, you just got the job, and it’s unlikely the number 1 thing on your mind is leaving. But ultimately, most people don’t stay in a single job for their entire lives. Eventually you and this employer will likely part ways, be it through retirement, resignation, or other termination. And the fine print in that employment can lead to serious consequences when you do leave. That is why its very important to have an experienced employment attorney review any employment contract before you sign it.
Considerations in Employment Contracts
There are some things that we all expect in employment contracts, like clauses about your salary, compensation, and under what circumstances you can be fired. However, there are some more technical provisions that are common in these contracts now. Forbes Magazine has listed some of the important areas that are often included in employment contracts. These include:
- Non-compete (and non-solicitation) agreements;
- Exclusivity agreements; and
- Patent ownership agreements.
Confidentiality agreements usually bar you from disclosing information. If you are going to work in the medical field, this may have to do with patient privacy. Or if your company develops new products, the confidentiality may have to do with the development of those products
Oregon Law on Non-Compete and Non-Solicitation Clauses
Non-compete clauses are portions of the employment contract that prevent you from going into business in competition with your employer when you leave. They are governed in Oregon by Oregon Revised Statute 653.295. There are strict regulations for these clauses. However, non-solicitation agreements are not as well regulated. These are agreements in your contract that when you leave the company you will not take your clients with you, or that you will not start a business and convince your co-workers to come along with you.
These clauses prevent you from working for competitors while you are working for the company. So if you work for one company that makes a product, and your contract has one of these provisions, you may not be able to make extra cash on the side by moonlighting at a competing company.
Patent Ownership Agreements
If you are an engineer, researcher, software developer, or other type of employee who invents things, you are likely well aware that in order to protect your intellectual property, you have to patent it. What you may not realize, however, is that companies can include provisions in their employment contracts that require you to give them ownership of your patents. In the long term this can have a significant impact on your income.
Contact an Experienced Lawyer at HKM Employment Attorneys LLP
Getting a new job is an exciting experience. We are excited for you. But if an employment contract is involved, it is in your best interest to have an experienced professional at HKM Employment Attorneys LLP go through the document in order to make sure the job offer is as good as it seems. When you are ready to speak with us, you can call us at (503) 389-1130, or you can contact us online by filling out our simple online form.