With a job offer letter, employees may receive an employment contract to look over. In most cases, it will contain all the details of the employment opportunity, such as job duties, salary, and benefits. When signing an employment contract, employees should be aware of their rights and take the time to read the document thoroughly before signing. This article will provide a detailed explanation of employment contracts, what to look out for when signing, and why getting an experienced lawyer to review the document is a critical step.

What is an Employment Contract? 

An employment contract is a legally binding document between an employer and employee. It states the terms and conditions of their employment and outlines the responsibilities of each. Generally, an employment contract will include clauses such as the job title, salary, hours of work, vacations and holidays, job description, workplace rules, termination policy, non-disclosure and non-compete agreements, and benefits. Employment contracts can also include indemnity clauses which dictate how an employee must handle confidential information, intellectual property, and any potential damages that may occur associated with their employment. Additionally, any bonuses or stock options may be included in employment contracts.

How to Read an Employment Contract? 

When reading through an employment contract, employees should pay close attention to what it is defining and outlining for them. This includes the length of employment, job duties, non-disclosure terms, and the potential of a non-compete agreement that may restrict an employee from work elsewhere. They should also be aware of the clauses that spell out levels of job security, contract termination and the conditions that may be set to limit the financial impact for either party should the contract be terminated.

Careful attention should also be paid to any indemnity clauses outlined in the document. These clauses can define the company's right to financial restitution or other liabilities in case of some sort of harm or misconduct. Employees should be aware of how these clauses will be enforced and their obligations should the agreement be terminated before its expiration date.

Importance of Experienced Legal Counsel to Review an Employment Contract? 

When signing an employment contract, employees should get an experienced lawyer to review the document so nothing can come back to bite them in the future. There are some states, such as California, that have specific laws and regulations that govern employment contracts, and contracts can even vary from industry to industry.

Having an experienced lawyer by your side can also be invaluable when negotiating the final version of an employment contact. They can provide insight and advice on how to structure the agreement to better benefit the employee and protect their rights. Even if the agreement is not legally binding, an experienced lawyer can help ensure it is fair and airtight.


Employment contracts can be tricky and often require professional legal counsel. Before signing, employees should always look over the document carefully and make sure they understand all the clauses. This includes pay and benefits, job security, and indemnity clauses, as well as any potential non-disclosure and non-compete agreements. An experienced lawyer can provide a lot of insight when negotiating and revising an employment contract, so it’s wise to have one review the document before signing it.


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