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Employment contracts: how they can help and hurt at the same time

Though a majority of the jobs in the workplace don't require employment contracts, high-level employees and management do. For people in these types of situations, it is important to note that companies do have to follow certain employment rules which may come into play in the event that your employer chooses to terminate your employment.

As many Indiana employment law attorneys will no doubt point out, for people accepting high-level positions, it is important to make sure that you not only sign an employment contract but negotiate terms that ensure your best interests are met and protected. These terms and agreements can solidify wages, ensure annual raises and bonuses, or make sure that you receive an appropriate amount of paid time-off.

It is important to point out that though employment contracts can often times help you, they can also cause problems. This is especially true in cases where an employer has added non-compete clauses that prohibit you from working for another company deemed "competition." Usually, these clauses expire after a designated amount of time, but sometimes employers do not include a time limit which can lead to legal troubles in the event of termination.

Sometimes, these non-compete clauses may not come up until after you've been handed resignation papers though. Many experts stress the importance of reading through any termination paperwork to make sure that your initial employment contract is honored and, in the case of severances, are receiving an appropriate amount of compensation.

If you ever have any questions regarding employment contracts or severance agreements, speaking with an attorney knowledgeable in employment law is always well advised. After all, it's always a good idea to make sure that you are getting the fair amount of compensation when it comes to your employment.

Source: The Huffington Post, "What to Know Before You Get Fired or Laid Off," Donna Ballman, Nov. 3, 2012

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