Employment Contracts Attorney in NYC

Have you received a new job offer? Congratulations!

That is a great accomplishment, especially when New York has recently seen unemployment rates as high as 8.2%.

Though you should be grateful for a new employment opportunity, don’t forget what you bring to the table.

If you’ve received an employment contract from your employer, don’t sell yourself short.

Negotiate for employment conditions that work for you. 

We can help you understand clauses that commonly come up in employment contracts. We can also help you spot red flags.

But remember, negotiating an employment contract is best done with the help of an experienced employment attorney. 

Common Employment Contract Clauses

Knowing what issues are normally covered in many employment contracts can help you determine what to ask for in an employment contract.

Typical clauses you might see in an employment contract cover issues such as:

  • Performance expectations,
  • Length of employment,
  • Wages and benefits,
  • Disciplinary procedures, 
  • Dispute resolution, and 
  • Post-severance activities.

The length of your employment and the wages and benefits you receive can be pretty straightforward.

Though these issues are typically easy to understand, hiring an employment attorney with experience in negotiating employment contracts can be crucial to your receipt of the best contract terms.

The other contract issues mentioned above can be more complex, so we’ll briefly discuss them below. 

Performance Expectations and Disciplinary Procedures

New York is an at-will employment state. This means that the typical employer can fire an employee for any reason or no reason, even if they perform their job perfectly.

The only protection an average employee has against arbitrary termination is that their employer can’t fire them for a discriminatory reason or a reason that is against certain public policies.

If you have the opportunity to enter into an employment contract, you can negotiate for more job protection. 

You can ensure increased job security by negotiating employment contract terms that are very clear about what kind of performance your employer expects from you and what disciplinary procedures your employer will use if you fall short of expectations.

The clearer your employer’s performance expectations, the harder it will be for your employer to arbitrarily fire you.

Also, if there are clear contract terms about how you will be disciplined for performance issues, it will be more difficult for your employer to fire you without using proper disciplinary procedures. 

Dispute Resolution

If you believe your employer violated your employment contract, you can normally sue them for damages in civil court.

Many employers don’t want to take their chances with judges and juries as decision-makers in their employment disputes, so they add clauses in employment contracts that require employees to arbitrate their disputes instead.

Arbitration can deal a hefty blow to an employee with a strong court case.

While many arbitration clauses in employment contracts are legal, New York law doesn’t allow arbitration clauses that prevent employees from going to court for discrimination claims.

Negotiating a discrimination arbitration clause out of an employment contract can be easy. However, an employer’s initial proposal of that clause could indicate a toxic workplace.

Take note that a potential employer’s contract terms are opportunities to negotiate for better working conditions and opportunities to identify an undesirable job. 

Post-Severance Activities

One of the most painful potential aspects of leaving a job is having to comply with a non-compete clause in an employment contract.

Non-compete clauses can prevent you from working in your field for a length of time after leaving your employer.

These clauses are enforceable if they have certain reasonable terms and cover legitimate concerns. Depending on your field of work and location, a non-compete clause could hurt your livelihood significantly. 

Even if a non-compete clause isn’t legal, you might have to suffer through a lawsuit before you’re cleared to move on to new employment.

An attorney experienced in negotiating employment contracts can help you determine the effect a non-compete clause could have on you and negotiate more favorable terms.

Reach Out to an Attorney Before You Sign an Employment Contract

You know you likely need an attorney to make sure the terms of your employment contract are fair.

But you might be asking, Who are the experienced employment contract lawyers near me? We have you covered at Ottinger Employment Lawyers.

Our experienced employment attorneys have helped thousands of employees over the last 20 years. We want to help you too. Contact us online or call us at 866-328-0486 for a consultation.  

For details about our New York office, click here.

Author Photo

Robert Ottinger, Esq.

Robert Ottinger is an employment attorney who focuses on representing executives and employees in employment disputes. Before starting his firm, Robert slugged it out in courtrooms trying cases for the government. Robert served as a Deputy Attorney General for the California Department of Justice in Los Angeles and then as Assistant Attorney General for the New York Attorney General’s Office in Manhattan.

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