The Chicago Employment Law Blog

5 Things to Negotiate in Your Job Contract

The interview went well and you seemingly locked down the job that you want. Now it's time for you to negotiate your job contract.

For certain positions (typically, high-level and executive positions), the employer will enter into an employment agreement with you.

The job contract can cover pretty much everything that touches upon your employment. Because these contracts are binding and set forth your rights, you will want to be careful before signing them. In addition, you should know that you may be able to negotiate certain provisions. Here's a look at five important terms you may want to negotiate:

  1. Salary. This is probably the first thing you thought of. You will want to set forth in writing how much you get paid. In addition, you may want to specify how your salary is determined such as based on company performance or a flat annual salary. You will also want to account for any bonuses and unusual salary arrangements like stock options.
  2. Benefits. You will want your job contract to stipulate your benefits like sick time, vacation leave, and even perks like use of company vehicles and gym memberships. Remember to ask for the perks that are important to you such as time off to spend with your family. In addition, you will want to ensure that any promises mentioned during the interview are memorialized in writing.
  3. Role and Responsibilities. It is a good idea to agree on your title, role, and primary job responsibilities. For instance, you'll want to be sure the tile accurately reflects the nature of the work you would be doing. In addition, you should evaluate whether your job duties match your skills, interests, and capabilities.
  4. Job Security and Termination. You may want to determine the circumstances your employer may or may not terminate you. Otherwise, you may be considered an at-will employee who can be terminated at any time and for any reason.
  5. What Happens After Separation. You will want to address what happens after you separate from the company. Some employers may have non-compete and trade secret provisions. Not all of these provisions may be legal and enforceable.

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