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Questions to answer when reviewing an employee contract

You're so excited to receive a job offer that you throw your employee contract to the side and begin to celebrate. While it's okay to be happy for yourself, don't do anything else until you review your contract.

Here are some questions to answer as you review your employee contract:

  • Does it match what you discussed when interviewing and negotiating the terms of your employment? You thought you agreed to terms with the company, just to find that your employee contract contradicts your verbal agreement. You'll want to clear this up before putting pen to paper.
  • What does it say about compensation? You'll naturally turn your attention to the compensation portion of your contract, as you want to ensure that it matches what you agreed upon. In addition to the salary or hourly rate, make note of other forms of compensation, such as bonuses, commission payments and stock options.
  • Is there a noncompete? Some employee contracts state that you can't work for a company in the same industry for a predetermined period of time following your termination or submitting your notice. This may not be something you're comfortable with, so you have the opportunity to negotiate it out.
  • Will you receive severance pay if you're terminated? It may not be a deal breaker, but it's important to know if your termination will result in severance pay. And if so, how it's calculated and paid.

You can review an employee contract on your own, but don't shy away from getting a second pair of eyes to check it out. This can help pinpoint areas of concern that you may have overlooked.

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