Today, many companies in media have employment contracts in addition to non-competes or restrictive covenants. It is important to know your rights when signing or having them presented to you. Legally it is very difficult to stop someone from working and states vary in how they view and enforce them. You may never need to re-do a contract as you could spend your entire career with the same company, but to be better educated on what your limitations may be, here are some tips to help you in case another opportunity comes up:
- Review your contract annually – put it on your calendar as a reminder as some companies have inserted ‘auto-renewals’ into the body of the contract. Make sure to mark your calendar reminder a good 60 days in advance of renewal!
- Know what is in the contract – read the fine print
- Talk to someone in the know – take questions that you don’t understand to a local attorney who is familiar with employment law in your state; also talk to your corporate office to better explain anything you don’t understand
- Often a departed employee is limited as to who at the old company can be recruited for the new company, so be sure to be aware of this covenant should you leave to join another company
- A restrictive covenant will most likely limit where you can work and protect your past employer from you calling on the same accounts for a specified amount of time and within a stated amount of miles from your past job. Find out what is acceptable and negotiate what the state will allow
- Don’t assume that the contract can be easily broken, there can be costs associated with attorney and court fees, buy out of contracts, etc.
These agreements are more common so be wise and ready before you sign!