Negotiating Employment Contracts

Apr 17, 2014

Negotiating Employment Contracts: Getting You a Better Deal

We have reviewed hundreds of employment contracts over the years. Some are fair; some are not. Lawyers at the MacLeod Law Firm can tell you which clauses in the contract are not fair in your circumstances and why. If you wish, we can negotiate changes in the initial job offer on your behalf.

Every contract negotiation is different. Here are five of the numerous of issues that can be negotiated:

  1. Start date – You may be required to provide notice of resignation to your current employer. If you do not provide enough notice then your current employer can bring a wrongful resignation action against you. (For more information, see here.) 
  1. Probationary period – If you are leaving secure employment then do you really want to give your new employer the power to terminate your employment shortly after hiring you without any notice? 
  1. Employee benefits – If you are covered under a spouse’s benefit plan then you may not want to join an employer’s benefit plan.  On the other hand, if benefit coverage is important to you then there are changes you can propose to enhance your rights in this area. 
  1. Non-solicitation – If you are a sales person or a customer facing employee and you are joining a competitor then you may need to amend this clause to protect yourself from litigation from your current employer. (For more information, see here.) 
  1. Termination pay – This is usually the most important clause to review. You need to know what it means. If the employer really wants to hire you then you may be able to negotiate significant improvements to this clause. About 18 months ago, we helped an employee negotiate a change to a termination clause. She was recently terminated. Under the original offer of employment she would have received 2 weeks termination pay. Under the amended offer, she received 6 months termination pay. The difference was more than $50,000. 

It usually takes one of our lawyers about an hour to review an employment contract and provide you with our preliminary comments.

If you have been offered employment and asked to sign an employment contract, and you want to speak with an employment lawyer with experience in this area, contact us at  [email protected] or 1-888-640-1728 (toll free) or 647-633-9894 (within the GTA).

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