Receiving an offer letter and/or an employment agreement is usually a turning point for many job seekers. It ends the interviews, job applications, forwarding of resumes, and all other activities which are part of the job-hunting process. However, it is never advisable to rush into signing the dotted line—regardless of how excited you feel about the offer.
Attorney Melody Rissell Leonard has spoken with several clients who signed vague and ambiguous agreements that they thought entitled or guaranteed them certain compensation, bonuses, or other benefits. However, most agreements specify that these things are all discretionary and can change at any time at the employer’s option.
Instead of just hoping that the terms of the agreement are fair and reasonable—you should make sure they are by having it reviewed by a seasoned labor and employment attorney. This page provides insight and tips on how to properly review and evaluate a proposed employment agreement from an employer, including the terms of an offer letter.
One of the first things the attorney will check is whether the employment agreement and offer letter has any loopholes that an employer could use to their advantage and potentially, your detriment. If you have a better grasp of what the standard terms are in these agreements, you will have more room to negotiate and feel more comfortable doing it.
Many employment agreements and offer letters usually contain boilerplate language and occasionally have complex terms. They can also have ambiguities that you should be aware of, and request clarification if necessary.
But you shouldn’t be concerned about that if you have consulted with an experienced attorney. The attorney will break down these complex terms into easy-to-understand bits. This ensures you know what you are agreeing to.
When a potential employer sends you an employment agreement or offer letter, chances are the letter has been reviewed by company attorneys, the Human Resources department, executives, and other management. For this reason, hiring an attorney to advise you makes sense.
Attorney Melody Rissell Leonard knows some of the most important things to look for in such agreements and can help level the playing field.
Remember, knowledge is power. And when you don’t have enough knowledge of what the agreement or offer letter entails, the other party could take advantage of the situation to serve only their interests.
The contents of the employment agreement and offer letter will tell you the kind of employer they are – that is if you accept the agreement. If the agreement contains many loopholes, is unclear, or does not seem to serve your best interests, it could be a sign of what’s to come if you decide to work for that employer.
Employment attorneys understand the components or elements that make up a reasonable employment agreement and offer letter. In other words, they know what should be included in these agreements. For this reason, they can help determine whether the compensation package, employment agreement, and/or offer letter are reasonable enough to warrant your signature.
A knowledgeable employment attorney in San Francisco like Melody Rissell Leonard can effectively explain these complex legal terms and processes, along with being able to take action and protect your rights and best interests if there is evidence that the employment agreement contains unlawful provisions or omissions. Contact Melody today to schedule a free, confidential case review.