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Should you review a new job contract with your attorney?

So, you've been offered a job. That's great news, and you're ready to take it. Wait a minute, though, and make sure you understand what's in your employment contract.

You need to review the document to see what kind of employment you'll fall under as well as any start or end dates filed. For example, if you're a fixed-term employee, there could be a start and end date, whereas at-will employees may have only a start date. Also, review causes for termination. Every employee should understand what can result in termination, and you should not want the causes to be too broad.

Your contract should have a job description inside as well. This description should state what responsibilities you have. Make sure the job is what you think it is; you don't want to end up with a job that is completely different than you thought.

Finally, make sure you understand any noncompete clauses and what happens to copyrights, inventions and other things you may create while you work for the company. Do you retain any of your own work while you're working for your employer? Be careful, because some employers state that any intellectual property you come up with, even if it's at home, belongs to the employer so long as you're working with them.

Contracts have many parts, which is why it's a good idea to go over your contract with someone familiar with employment law. Be sure you understand what you're signing, so you don't end up regretting your decision later if the job ends up different than you thought.

Source:, "10 Considerations Before Signing an Employment Contract," John Rossheim, accessed Feb. 09, 2018

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