What Employees Need to Know About Employment Contracts

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If you’re starting a new job and you’re asked to sign an employment contract, you should take the time to read and fully understand what you’re signing. From non-disclosure clauses to limits on your legal recourse in the event of termination, it’s critical that you know the ins and outs of your employment contract.

Maybe you already signed an employment contract with your current employer – take a look at your agreement and refresh your understanding of what you and your company agreed upon.

The Basics of an Employment Contract

Every contract is different, but the vast majority of employment agreements include:

  • Details on how your employment is structured (e.g., independent contractor or full-time employee)
  • Compensation (salary, hourly, commission, etc.)
  • How long the contract will be in effect
  • Information on non-disclosure requirements
  • How disputes between the employee and the employer will be handled

Even though many of these are standard in employment contracts, don’t overlook them. Verify that everything is correct and in line with what you discussed when you received your job offer before you sign the agreement.

Can I Break an Employment Contract?

You have the option to leave your job at any time, but make sure you are familiar with what’s outlined in your employment agreement. It may include a specific length of time required for notice and a specific method of notice (like delivering notice in writing to your manager or the HR team).

Sometimes life happens, and you have to leave your employment without fulfilling every requirement in your contract. Unfortunately, that could mean you’re in breach of contract, and you could open yourself up to the risk of litigation. If you have to leave your employment before your contract ends or without the required amount of notice time, check with an employment lawyer about your options before you start the process of leaving your job.

Can an Employer Break an Employment Contract?

If your employer doesn’t hold up their end of the deal, you may be able to pursue breach of contract claims against the company. For example, many Twitter employees are now pursuing employment-related lawsuits against the company.

If you lose your job or are laid off, check your employment contract to see if it outlines the company’s obligations in that circumstance. You may have more legal options if the company didn’t follow its own agreement when terminating your employment.

Legal Options for Breach of Employment Contract

If you feel that you’ve been wrongfully terminated, get in touch with an employment lawyer to review your situation. An attorney can review your employment agreement to find out the method of dispute resolution included in your contract, along with potential resolutions.

Different workplace allegations, like wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment, hostile work environment, etc. require various levels of legal proof and evidence, so it’s important to work with an experienced employment attorney on your case.

Questions about your situation? The McGonigle Law Team is here to help – get in touch with us today for a conversation.


The information contained herein is for general purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.


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