What are some tips and things I should be aware of when signing an employment contract in the U.S. as a citizen?

Good question! Here are some tips that first came to mind:

  • Employment classification. Are you working “at-will” or do you have protectable rights? At-will employment is the default type of working relationship in the U.S. for 49 of 50 states. It means that you can be terminated for any non-discriminatory reason.
  • Non-compete provision. There may be a non-compete agreement w/n your employment contract. This will typically restrict you from working in a similar type of position for a certain amount of time and within a certain region.
  • IP assignment. If you’re a developer or an artist then this especially applies to you. It states that any work you complete for your employer is your employer’s property. The terms can be pretty broad though so it’s important to know what you can and cannot do before your employer tries to argue that your side project is also property of his/hers.
  • Hire an attorney. Your employer is actually supposed to encourage you to have a lawyer review your contract. You can do that here at LawTrades for an affordable, flat-fee cost. It’s better to play it safe when it comes to legal issues so have an expert employment lawyer review and explain to you what you’re signing before it’s too late.