Understand The Contract You Are Signing
As a professional, your career is important to you. You carefully consider every step you take to reach your goals. That should apply to negotiating an employment contract, as well. Most Texas employees are hired “at will,” which means either party can terminate the employment relationship for any legal reason at any time. If you enter into an employment contract, however, the terms are binding on you now and possibly into the future. Make sure you understand everything you are agreeing to.
The attorneys at Armstrong & Associates have over 30 years of legal experience. We are skilled at employment contract negotiation and can also draft a contract on your behalf. We are looking out for your best interest and your future. We work with professionals and business executives from many industries, including the oil and gas industry, the financial sector and health care. We will walk you through your agreement and point out any terms that may prove difficult to follow or hurt you in the future.
Read The Fine Print
Most employment contracts are written, but Texas law does recognize verbal contracts for under one year. Always pay careful attention when agreeing to terms orally. Common terms for written employment contracts include:
- Job description and duties
- A time limit on employment
- Payment and other compensation
- Defined circumstances under which the employer can terminate the employee
- Defined circumstances under which the parties can modify the contract
Another common term is a noncompete clause. This provision states that if you leave the company, you may not work for certain competitors for a certain amount of time within a geographical area. Texas law recognizes these clauses but requires them to be reasonable in their scope. We will review any noncompete clause in your agreement to advise you on how it may limit your future employment prospects in Houston and throughout Texas. Similarly, the employer may request a confidentiality clause to protect trade secrets.
Another area you need to be careful of is the section describing circumstances that may lead to your termination. Certain actions could end your employment and jeopardize your reputation within your industry. Let us explain any hidden traps your contract may contain to make sure your next career move is a positive one.