How to conquer the employment contract after landing a new job

May 21, 2013

Examining a new employment contract isn't as difficult as you might think, according to one recruiter. Here's what to include and what to leave out.

 

Get off the phone with your lawyer, and don't be intimidated by the giant stack of papers when your new employer hands you your employment contract. Going through a new contract isn't as difficult as you might think, according to Tony Stajduhar, president of the permanent recruitment division for physician recruiting firm Jackson and Coker.

"Unfortunately many doctors go to an attorney who just wants to tear apart the contract, and it gets expensive," Stajduhar says. "If it's a big hospital, they're probably using the same contract for many physicians. They're pretty typical, standard language."

Although going over a contract with an attorney isn't a bad idea, the lawyer should focus on looking at the basics and financial terms.

"Unless there's a specific piece that causes the attorney angst, you really don't want them to try to rewrite it," Stajduhar says.

Make sure all of your benefits are covered and that no out-of-pocket expenses are stipulated for things related to the practice, Stajduhar says. It's also crucial to examine the termination clauses, he says.

"Make sure you know all the ins and outs and what it takes to escape a contract if need be," he says. "What you're really trying to avoid is walking in 90 days after starting the job and they don't care for you very much. You don't want to be put in the position where they can terminate you[r employment] at will."

When negotiating you pay, be sure to do some research on what the average pay is for your position and in your location, Stajduhar advises.

"Depending on where you go, money could be substantially different," he says. "There are places that will pay less, but it depends on how badly you want to be there."