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What employers, employees should know about employment contracts

Looking for a new job can be a challenging time in a person's life. Whether they are unemployed or working in an undesirable job, the prospect of moving to a different position at a different company can be both exciting and stressful. On the other side of this is the employer with a position to fill. Managers and owners may also be feeling a bit anxious as they try to keep their company running with at least one job opening unfulfilled.

When it comes to hiring, both the employer and the employee may have the same tendency to accept the first thing that comes along. People want a job while employers need an employee. However, it can be crucial that neither side rushes to a decision, particularly when there is an employment contract involved.

There are a number of contracts that exist in today's business world. Some of them are designed to protect the interests of an employer while others serve to protect the employee. No matter what the contract is, a dispute over an employment contract can end up being costly to both parties. There are a few ways that people can avoid these disputes with a clear understanding of what a contract actually means.

Make sure that terms that are in a contract are accurate and clearly understandable to all parties. Misinterpretations of a number or phrase can end up changing the intent of a document. In most cases, negotiations are possible so it can be important for employers and employees to be flexible when necessary. Be careful to fully examine any restrictive language, including items such as non-compete clauses. If there are questions about these terms, communication between employer and jobseeker should be open and direct.

It can be crucial to start a professional relationship off on the right foot. Rather than rush into an employment decision, both employees and employers should consider working through the terms of a contract with an attorney who understands front-end risk management.

Source: Forbes, "Negotiating An Employment Agreement," Stacey Hawley, March 11, 2013

  • Our Denver law firm works with people who find themselves in a contract dispute or are looking to avoid one. For more information, please visit our page on business litigation.

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