You might feel intimidated when an employer presents you with an employment contract. However, a proper employment agreement can actually work to your benefit since it defines your rights as an employee. Your contract may establish how your employer may or may not treat you and could protect your job from termination.
Before you sign an employment contract, consider reading over the document at first. Chron explains some key provisions that will inform your rights as an employee.
A description of your duties
Your contract should detail the expectations of the job. You should know the name of your position, the duties you must perform, where you should report for work, and the hours of your employment. Assuming you do not work a Monday-to-Friday schedule, your contract should tell you which days to work. Depending on your job, the contract will probably lay out production goals and performance barometers.
There are different ways an employer can pay a worker. Your contract may specify a salary based upon an hourly wage or a commission. Employment contracts can also address overtime pay. Additionally, a workplace that has an incentive program may detail the objectives a worker must meet in order to qualify for payment according to the program.
Explaining termination procedures
An employment contract can be particularly valuable if it limits how your employer can fire you. Termination language in a contract may address the circumstances that would allow your workplace to terminate your employment, either with or without stated cause. This section should also go into the severance pay you would receive under any scenario.
Employment extension terms
You should be aware if your employment lasts for only a number of years or until you reach a production threshold. Even if the contract limits your employment, it may still include a provision to extend your tenure if you and your employer agree to it. Still, the contract may also give your employer ways to reduce your employment term, so this is something to watch for before signing the document.