An employment agreement is a contract between an employee and your employer that sets forth the scope of your employment and your mutual obligations to each other. Provisions in an employment agreement that violate state or federal law are unenforceable, but an employment agreement can expand the rights an employee would otherwise be entitled to by law. When drafting or considering a potential employment agreement in New Jersey, the long-term implications loom large. This contractual agreement will set the terms of the employee-employer relationship during and after the employment relationship ends. With this in mind, it is absolutely vital to have an experienced New Jersey employment lawyer review your employment agreement to provide informed analysis of what it truly means for you.
If you have been presented with an employment agreement for a new job or position, it is very important to carefully review its terms. An employment agreement is a legally binding contract. You need to make sure the terms you are agreeing to are advantageous for you and protect you.
First, you should carefully review the job duties listed in the agreement. Are these the same duties that were explained to you when the position was offered? Are they more expansive? Do you have less authority in this position than you anticipated? These are all important questions to consider.
Next, check to make sure the compensation package, including health care benefits, 401K matching, and any other benefits you expected are expressly included in the agreement
Another common part of an employment agreement are restrictive covenants like non-compete and non-disclosure clauses. A non-compete clause may restrict you from competing with your employer in certain ways for a period of time after your employment ends. Non-disclosure agreements typically prohibit you from divulging proprietary information like trade secrets or client lists both during and after your employment with the employer.
Restrictive covenants are a common feature of employment agreements. Though you can generally expect the inclusion of some, you need to consider whether you believe they are fair and how they might limit you, if your relationship with this employer were to end.
An employment agreement is like any other contract—it is an agreement between two parties. If both parties agree to amend or change the agreement in some way, they may do so. However, if one party fails to fulfill their obligations under the agreement, they are considered in breach of contract.
It is important to note that just like any contract, an employment agreement is generally legally enforceable unless it results from undue influence, like a threat; one of the parties agreed to sign the agreement based on the other’s false or misleading statement or omission of a material fact during negotiations; the agreement is so unfair that is would tend to “shock the conscience” if a court enforced it; or the parties have agreed to something illegal or against public policy.
With the legal complexities of employment agreements in New Jersey, employers and employers would be well-advised to consult with an experienced employment attorney before making any decisions.
Employment Contract Specialists