We often assume that big or even medium-sized companies have their act together. We think these companies hire highly trained professionals to take care of various important matters. However, after reviewing many employment contracts for employees, I can not say that companies take their legal department as seriously. I’ve seen medium and large (including public) companies with terrible contracts or sometimes hiring employees with no contract all. This makes it incredibly important for both employees and employers to have their contracts reviewed by an attorney.
Here are some common mistakes that employers make:
- Including clauses that violate employee rights therefore opening up the employer to potential legal liability,
- Drafting clauses that are difficult to understand thereby opening up the clause to multiple interpretations,
- Not probably describing the duties of the employee,
- Not following proper signature protocols (such as not including the title of company representative), and
- Not addressing likely scenarios.
Bottom line to employees: don’t assume that an employer knows what they are doing with respect to contracts. Bottom line to employers: carefully draft your contracts.