When you are offered a new job, you have to deal with a fair bit of paperwork. One of the many things that you will have to read through and sign is an employee agreement contract, also sometimes called an employment contract. These contracts carry different stipulations depending on your position and whether your job is represented by a union or not.

What is Covered in an Employment Contract?

The employment contract covers the duties and obligations for you and the company in regard to your employment. This contract is used as a protection for you in assuring that you are fully compensated for your work and a protection for the company in assuring that you will not cause them or their business any harm during your time of employment or afterward. These contracts are fully enforceable legal documents that are carefully drafted to protect all the parties involved. The contract will also describe what you may be asked to do as an employee. This part of the contract is not exhaustive or a guarantee.

Your Legal Obligations

Part of the reason that your new employers want you to sign this contract is to protect their company. As an employee, you will have access to how your company works, their clients, and other things that allow your company to be competitive. Your employer will often include a nondisclosure clause, a no solicitation clause, a noncompete clause, and a statement of who your work will belong too. These clauses prevent you from sharing company secrets, stealing clients or work from the company, or setting yourself up in direct competition. The severity of the restrictions is dependent on your new position in the company. If you are in an entry level position, they will not be nearly as strict as someone hired on for a managerial position. The contract will also state the length of your employment.

Your Compensation

In addition to the legal obligations, your contract will also cover the compensation and the benefits that you will receive from the company. Your compensation will either be a yearly salary or an hourly wage, and it is something that you should agree upon before you sign this contract. It will also describe the benefits that you are eligible for. Some of these benefits may include medical and dental insurance, paid time off, bonuses, paid holidays, commissions, and anything else your company may provide.

The employee contract will also spell out what business expenses you can be compensated for. Usually, these are related to travel for business reasons and includes travel, lodging, and a per diem amount for food.

While it may seem complicated, these contracts are fairly straightforward. It is legally binding, so make sure you resolve any questions or problems before you sign the paperwork.

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