The employment contract serves as the foundation of your employer-employee relationship. The problem is employees often sign their contract without really understanding it. Remember, your employment contract should have terms and conditions that favor both you and your employer. By understanding the contract, you can ensure your employer also adheres to the terms. Furthermore, it could help you justify any legal claims you may have against your employer should issues of discrimination or breaches of contract arise.
To know your rights and obligations
Understanding your employment contract can let you know what your employer owes you and what they expect from you. It includes your salary, benefits, work hours and job relationships. It clearly defines your role in the company and what you are eligible to receive as an employee in your position. Your employer cannot deny you the benefits in the contract, especially if you are fulfilling your end of the agreement.
To negotiate better terms of employment
Knowledge of the terms and conditions laid out in your employment contract can put you in a better position to negotiate terms that are more favorable to you. You might be able to ask for a higher salary, more benefits or flexible working arrangements.
To give you legal protection
Pennsylvania is an at-will employment state, meaning your employer can fire you anytime and for any reason. The same principle applies to you. You can quit your job at any time as an at-will employee. However, your employer cannot terminate your employment in a way that violates your employment contract unless they have just cause. Otherwise, you can file a legal claim against them.
Employment contracts are legally binding. Knowing the contents can provide you with legal protection. If your employer fails to comply with the contract terms, you can have lawful grounds to seek remedy or compensation.
To avoid violating the contract terms
Employment contracts often contain non-compete clauses or confidentiality agreements. Employees need to understand these clauses to avoid legal issues during and after their term of employment.
Pennsylvania employees should take the time to carefully review and understand their employment contracts before signing them. It can help you know your rights and fight for them if necessary.