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4 employment clauses that could prove to be problematic

The start of any employment relationship is often full of hope and ambition. Employers are eager to fill empty roles with talented people and employees are ready to get to work. In the midst of this anticipation, it can be easy for parties to make some costly missteps when it comes to signing an employment contract.

One such misstep is to sign something without reading it. Whether you are an employer or an employee, it is crucial that you read and understand the terms in a contract before you sign it, including the four clauses we discuss in this post.

Non-compete clauses

These are clauses that restrict a worker from being employed in certain regions, certain roles and for certain companies when they leave their current job. These clauses can be valuable to companies, but if they are overly restrictive, they can threaten a workers's livelihood and may not be enforceable.

"Morality" clauses

People in certain industries come across morality clauses in employment contracts. A morality clause allows an employer to financially penalize or terminate an employee for misconduct that makes a company look bad. Considering the fact that these clauses control moral standards and conduct outside of work, it is crucial that they be carefully examined to ensure they are enforceable, valid and clear.

Arbitration clauses

Employers across the country are turning to arbitration clauses in employment contracts to prohibit employees from litigating employment disputes. However, these clauses have raised concerns regarding overuse and potential violations of employee rights, so it is important to think carefully about such clauses and hire a knowledgeable attorney to draft an arbitration agreement. If you get your arbitration off the internet you may end up getting what you paid for.

Nondisclosure clauses

Protecting secret or sensitive information with nondisclosure or confidentiality clauses can be prudent. However, if they are not drafted property, these agreements could leave confidential information vulnerable to release or leave workers feeling trapped in the event of a dispute or alleged rights violation.

Talking to an attorney

Before signing anything, employers and employees would be wise to consult an attorney who is familiar with employment contracts, their clauses and the possible consequences for enforcing or agreeing to these and other potentially problematic clauses. Failure to do so could significantly limit your legal and professional options in the future. 

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