Searching for a job, interviewing, and negotiating an employment offer can be an exhausting and time consuming task. Just before it is all finished — and you can get to work — there is the tricky issue of reviewing the contract that your new employer has prepared for you.
In many, if not most cases, it is a good idea for an experienced attorney to review your potential employment contract to determine if there are any issues that may impact your new employment or future employment with your new company. If your employment is only going to be of a short duration, it may not be so much of an issue to mitigate your risks by identifying potential problems; however, if you plan to work for your employer for a while, it may be a worth-while expense to sit down with an attorney and review the contract prior to you signing the dotted line.
An experienced business attorney will recognize issues that are unique to your profession and position to effectively negotiate contract terms on your behalf. For example, you may bring a unique or advanced skills set to your new job, have the potential burden of malpractice liability or insurance, or perhaps are expected to buy into the business you are planning to work for. There are significant (and complex) issues surrounding partnership, owning shares and working for the same company. You should consult with an attorney that knows how to draft and review contract language that is favorable to your employment position.
Needless to say, there may also be a myriad of other issues contained within your employment agreement that can affect your future. You must remember that the attorney that drafted the contract was not working on your behalf, not even to make the contract equitable, but merely to have the appearance of being equitable to all parties. An experienced attorney will recognize many issues that may compromise your interests such as: clauses for arbitration of disputes, severance payments, non-compete, non-disclosure, and non-solicitation.
Signing an employment agreement without first having your attorney review it can put you in a disfavorable position. Take the time out of your busy schedule to meet with your local business attorney for legal advice regarding your employment contract. Doing so will save you time, money, and protect your career in the long run.