My colleague in California, Gene Lee, has written a couple of nice entries about how to read an employment contract. See this post for part 1 of his series on reading contracts. Note the information regarding which state law governs the contract. In today’s business world, employment contracts frequently involve two, three states or more. It can make a huge difference regarding which state law governs. Just because you are hired in Texas for a Texas employer does not mean Texas will law will govern.
See Gene’s second post for Part 2 of how to read an employment contract. Note his final advice: a contract helps, but a contract is no substitute for having a lawyer in your corner. I know many employees essentially draft their own contract. A self-written or borrowed contract is better than no contract. But, the best plan is to consult with a trained employment lawyer whenever you sign or draft a contract.