Michigan Employment Contract Negotiation and Review Attorney
So you’ve just been offered a new job, congratulations! Getting a new job is exciting especially when it is one you have looked forward to. It could even be that advancement in your career you have been working very hard to get. Many times, it is something you have spent years in post-graduate training for.
It is therefore understandable if you are eager to sign the employment contract and get started already. However, before you uncap your pen and sign on the dotted line you should exercise caution. You must read and understand everything the contract says including the terms and conditions of employment before committing yourself to it.
Employment contracts are dicey documents. If you are not careful, you may be signing away certain rights or agreeing to terms that might put you at a disadvantage in the future. To this end, it is in your best interest to hire an employment contract review attorney to go over the contract with you before you sign it.
At Rabaa & Nachawati we are experienced in reviewing and negotiating employment contracts. We specialize in medical and dental contracts for new graduates and seasoned health professionals. We know all the usual terms employers like to slip into these contracts and can advise you of their effect before you sign. Our goal is to ensure that you are properly compensated for your years of training and that you find the job is a good fit.
Schedule a phone consultation with our attorneys to get a better understanding of what your employment contract really says, and what you should be negotiating with your new employer.
Leen helped me make one of the most important decisions of my life when she reviewed three different contracts for me and helped me weight the pros and cons of each. She not only make me feel like I was covered legally, but she also helped me make a decision based on factors that will impact my day-to-day life. Once I figured out which contract I was most comfortable with, she helped me negotiate a better benefits package. I highly recommend using Leen’s services because it put my mind at ease and just the benefit I got added on because of her covered more than the legal fees.
What is an Employment Contract & Do You Really Need an Attorney?
An employment contract review is a process in which you retain the services of an employment attorney to carefully go over an employment contract you have received.
There are four major instances where there may be a need to review an employment contract:
While you are being hired for a position and have been presented with an employment contract to sign;
When an employer is laying off employees or otherwise terminating their employment and a severance contract is being offered;
When an employer requires an employee to sign a non-compete agreement;
When you receive any other paperwork by your employer for your signature.
Physician and Dental Contract Review and Negotiations
Whether you are finishing up your medical residency or fellowship or looking to change jobs, before beginning the exciting journey of a new job you need to make sure your interests are covered. The importance of knowing the terms of your contract can help you make a decision on whether a job opportunity is right for you, and it gives you an idea of the culture of your new employer’s workplace. You should always have someone familiar with healthcare employment agreements review any formal documents you are presented with.
We aim to understand your career goals and what you would like to get out of a position, and then help you negotiate those ideas with your prospective employer. Even if your prospective employer has told you that “all associates are paid equally” or “this term is standard”, it does not close the door to negotiations. A skilled and knowledgeable attorney can still find a way to approach the delicate situation and help you get what you want.
Some major areas of consideration specific to a physician and dentist’s employment contract are:
Independent Contractor vs. Employee
Duties & Obligations
Having an attorney review and negotiate your contract creates leverage because you have knowledge of industry norms and expectations on hand. We have experience with different specialties and know how you should be compensated for your time and years of training. Your prospective employer’s contract with written with the employer in mind; we work to ensure your best interests are accounted for.
General Employment Contract Review
A general employment contract typically includes the following terms and conditions of employment:
Remuneration and compensation: Here, salary, bonuses, and any other kind of compensation will be stipulated. Take the case of bonuses for example. Some employers may reward an employee performance with stock options. You can hire us to help review and negotiate the metrics by which that performance will be measured. Yes, it may seem like it is your employer’s prerogative to decide what the metrics will be, but seeing as you will be doing the work, you should ensure that you are not getting the short end of the stick.
Vacation and sick leave: The contract will stipulate how many days of vacation and sick leave you are entitled to.
Health benefits: It will also tell you if you are entitled to any health benefits and what they are. Bearing the cost of medical benefits and healthcare can be tasking. Therefore, it is common to find employers looking to cut those costs by denying employees such benefits. However, by having us review your employment contract, you ensure that you and your employer understand what is expected of you. You know what kind of health insurance coverage you are getting and what your share of the premium costs will be.
Conduct after leaving employment: Some employers may prohibit their former employees from using confidential information learned at the workplace after leaving their job. Sometimes, this stipulation is put in the contract during hiring and it can sometimes be imposed on an existing employee. So if you suddenly get a memo informing you about an upcoming renewal to your employment contract, you should speak with an employment contract review attorney before you sign the papers.
Interoffice or interdepartmental conflict: Some contracts also outline the process of managing conflicts between employees. It would typically state who should be in the know when there are concerns in the workplace.
Severance Agreement Review: When your working relationship with your employer comes to an end, you may be offered a severance agreement. Often, you may be required to give up certain rights in exchange for the severance package. Sometimes, however, the severance package might be less than you deserve, or the conditions of acceptance might be unduly restrictive. That’s why you need an expert employment attorney to review the agreement for you.
Non-Compete Agreement Review: A severance agreement may also contain a non-compete clause. Sometimes, the non-compete clause is included in the agreement while the employee is being hired. However, it does not go into effect until the employee has left the job. You need to be certain that the non-compete clause is valid and fair to you. You also need to understand the length of time for which the non-compete clause is valid. Is it for a short time? Or are you forever forbidden to compete with your employer? Can you go to another state to establish competition?
All these and more are questions that we will help raise and answer when our Oakland employment contract review attorney reviews your employment contract.
Benefits of Having an Experienced Attorney Review Your Employment Contract
The excitement of a new job often precludes caution. You just want to get started. There is also the part where you may be thinking, “These guys just offered me a job, they won’t want to cheat me.”
While that is an admirable sentiment, it is not realistic. The attorneys that draw up the employment contract on behalf of your prospective employers are obligated to look out for the interests of your employer. Your interests rank lower on the scale as far as they are concerned.
This is why you should get your own attorney to review the fine print of your employment contract. Unfortunately, many contracts have been known to have unsavory terms hidden in their fine print. Seeing as you are not a lawyer, you won’t know to look for them and even if you do, you may not understand what you are reading.
We will read every line carefully, including those parts of the contract where the legalese makes your eyes glaze over. We will then break everything down in plain English so you can understand precisely what you are getting into.
The following are particular aspects you should pay extra attention to when you are reading your employment contract:
Termination of appointment: Many employers include an “at-will” clause in their contracts. What this means is that your appointment can be terminated at any time and for whatever reason as long as your employer gives you notice. It is, however, in your best interest to ensure that the contract requires that your employer have “just cause” when they terminate your appointment. Having an employment contract review helps you accomplish this.
Clear job description: The language in some contracts may be intentionally vague on what a new employee’s duties are so that the boss can sneak in more duties without implementing a pay raise. With an employment contract review, you can ensure that your duties are spelt out and be sure they are things you would feel comfortable doing.
Extra stream of income: Some employers may prohibit employees from taking on other jobs while in their employ. You will know if this is the case with your new employer and if so, whether you can comfortably live on what you will be earning there without needing to seek a side job.
Inventions and copyrights: Depending on the industry where you are working, if you create something while on your employer’s payroll, your employer may claim ownership of the intellectual copyright. If you already had something in the works before signing the new contract, you will be prepared to separate it from whatever work you will be doing for the new boss.
Non-solicitation and non-compete: These clauses in a contract affect where you may work after you leave the new place. They may prohibit you from working with former clients and employees when you leave or prevent you from becoming a competitor to your employer. When you review the contract, you can ensure that these clauses are fair and apply to a reasonable amount of time.
Conflict resolution:Most employment contracts include a clause that requires that both the employer and the employee go for arbitration in the event of a dispute rather than go the way of litigation. Reviewing the contract helps you see this and prepares you for that event.
Our Employment Contract Review Packages
Many people can feel apprehensive about bringing a lawyer into the mix when they are trying to make a good impression on a new employer. However, having a lawyer’s help does not mean discussions will be hostile and reflect badly on you.
Having an attorney review your contract shows your employer that you are taking the matters seriously and that you expect to be compensated fairly for your work.
We offer multiple packages to fit your needs.
Ourbasics packageincludes a contract review of all sections, a discussion with you to walk you through everything you should know and consider.
Ouradvanced packagewill include everything in the Basic package + an annotated contract with edits for employee negotiation. As well as a follow-up email with talking points and requested amendments outlined.
Lastly, ournegotiations packageallows us to work directly with your employer on your behalf to negotiate and clarify all of your wants and needs. We also offer custom packages for those with different needs, such as a quick review of multiple contracts to make an informed decision on which position to accept. Our ultimate goal is your peace of mind.
Contact Our Employment Contract Negotiation and Review Attorneys for Help
Ensure you are fully aware of exactly what your employment contract contains, and what this will mean for you. Negotiate your worth with knowledge and grace. Remember, your prospective employer’s contract was written to protect your employer, not you. This is why we are here to help.