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Employment Agreements - Sawers McFarlane

Employment Agreements Control Your Employment Relationship

It is one thing to land a job, but can be quite another when the employment agreement, also known as an employment contract, is laid out in front of you. You look at it and discover that you can’t understand much of the legalese. Do you sign without a full understanding of everything involved? Do you risk losing the job if you do not sign?

This is a common occurrence across Canada, with employment agreements becoming a standard practice, not just for high level executives, but also for the ordinary worker. What’s more, they are becoming increasingly complex as employers seek to shield themselves from potential legal action if the work relationship goes south.

A basic employment agreement outlines both parties’ rights, duties, and responsibilities, and may be a one page or ten page document. In most cases, it is intimidating. It is important to not only review the agreement, but have a qualified and competent employment lawyer examine it before signing on the dotted line.

What Employment Agreements Include

Employment agreements are often filled with legal terms, and when the employee is under pressure to read through it and sign with a minimum of delay, they may easily sign away rights and privileges that they never knew they had. Resist the urge to sign immediately; the company has spent considerable time, effort, and finances in getting you to this point, and they are very unlikely to rescind the offer if you ask for a little time to examine the agreement more closely.

Agreements should cover your job description and responsibilities, your expected start date, and all aspects of your financial and salary arrangements.  Any terms that were a part of the employment agreement should be put in writing, making them harder for any one party to go back on.  Employers may also include terms of termination, including severance and any post-employment restrictions such as non-compete clauses.

Pay close attention to the termination clauses, since many times only the basic severance will be applied, and in the vast majority of these cases, the employee is actually entitled to much more. Also, look at post employment conditions; non-compete clauses are common, but some may go too far on the restrictions imposed, making it impossible to find gainful employment.

Employment contracts may be enforceable by both parties if it is fair and properly drafted, while the provisions that generate the most traffic for any lawyer are termination issues and restrictive post-employment covenants.

A basic employment agreement outlines both parties’ rights, duties, and responsibilities, and may be a one page or ten page document. In most cases, it is intimidating. Regardless, it is a document that controls one of the most important relationships in your life and it is vital that you have a qualified and experienced employment lawyer examine it and advise you of your rights before signing on the dotted line.

The Employment Law Firm of Sawers McFarlane: Protecting Your Future

With over 35 years of combined experience in the legal field, the lawyers at Sawers McFarlane are committed to helping every client with their unique employment challenges. They can provide advice about any labour or employment problem, and can represent employees in negotiations, hearings, and litigation if necessary. No matter how complex the case, Sawers McFarlane is there to make sure that your rights are protected and your best interests are served. They have served thousands of clients in the Calgary area and across Western Canada, and have earned a reputation as professional, tenacious, and efficient legal advocates. Sawers McFarlane is located at #920 250 5th St SW, Calgary, Alberta T2P 0R4 or they may be reached by calling (866) 790-3221.