An Overview Of Key Factors That Employees Should Consider When Negotiating An Employment Agreement In Florida
Florida is an at-will employment law state. Without an employment agreement in place, either party—employee or employer—has the right to terminate or seek to adjust the terms of the relationship. A contract can be beneficial for an employee—but only to the extent that it is well-drafted and has terms that are in their interest.
An employment agreement proposed by an employer is not set in stone until it is signed. A job applicant or employee has the right to negotiate the terms of their employment contract. In this article, you will find an overview of five key things that employees should consider when negotiating an employment law contract in Florida.
Compensation matters. Indeed, when a prospective or current worker reviews an employment law agreement, it is likely that they are going to start by looking at their compensation. Make sure that you are satisfied with the compensation before signing the agreement. Beyond pay, it is also important to consider everything else that constitutes compensation—from bonuses to commissions to workplace benefits.
- The Terms and Conditions
Employees should always take a careful look at the terms and conditions of their employment agreement. What are you expected to do for your employer? Can you meet the obligations set out within the contract? Are the terms and conditions fair given your skills, experience, and level of compensation? You have a right to negotiate the terms and conditions of an employment agreement.
- Restrictive Covenants
Employees in Florida should always review the term of a proposed employment contract for any restrictive covenants. For example, it is not uncommon for employers to try to include a non-compete clause or a confidentiality provision in an employment agreement. Under Florida Statutes § 542.335, restrictive covenants, including non-competes, can be legally enforceable as long as they are reasonably narrow and protect a legitimate business interest.
Is the issue of severance discussed within your employment contract? You may want to consider addressing the issue of severance pay as part of the agreement. That is not to say that severance pay is addressed or included in every employment contract. Indeed, a worker with or without a contract may still reach a severance agreement at a later date when they leave the company. Still, it is an issue that is worthy of consideration.
- A Binding Arbitration Clause
Many employment contracts contained forced arbitration provisions. In Florida, a binding arbitration clause with a valid employment agreement will likely be upheld. In effect, this means that a dispute over the terms or applicability of the contract will need to be resolved through a private arbitration process instead of in court.
Get Help From an Employment Lawyer in Florida
The specific terms of an employment law agreement always matter. It is crucial that you know that your contract effectively protects your rights and interests. If you have questions about negotiating an employment contract, a Florida employee rights attorney with relevant experience can help.