What Should I Look for in an Employment Agreement in New York?

employment agreement new york

When starting a new job in New York, you will almost certainly have to sign an employment agreement of one sort or another. Before you do, you should look it over carefully, because, among other things, it should specify the terms of your employment, as well as legal recourse for recompense, should your employer violate the terms of the employment agreement. For more information on what you should look for in an employment agreement, please read on, then contact an experienced New York City employment agreement lawyer today. When scrutinizing your New York employment agreement, you should look for the following:

Job information

First and foremost, the employment agreement should define the role, including the following information:

  • Job title
  • Job description
  • Team and department assignment
  • Role requirements
  • When the job begins

Compensation and benefits

When determining whether to take a job, you will need an understanding of the compensation and benefits package, including:

  • Annual salary or hourly rate
  • Raises, bonuses, incentive opportunities
  • Health benefits, i.e. medical, dental, eye care, etc.
  • Company stock options
  • 401k or other investment/retirement plans
  • Signing bonuses
  • Time off, sick days and vacation policy, i.e. how you accrue time off
  • Other fringe benefits

Employee classification

While this might seem like a minor consideration, you should ascertain whether your employer is hiring you as an “employee” or a “contractor.” You need to know this information to ensure you comply with taxes and insurance policies. Classification will also affect what rights and benefits you have and how much your employer can reasonably ask of you.

The schedule and employment period

Any hiring contract you sign should clearly state if your employment will be full-time or part-time and whether your employment will be ongoing or scheduled for a set term after the initial start date. While working part-time or on a short-term basis might be ideal for contractors, those looking for more stable employment or a more traditional role should establish whether their role has a predefined expiration date. Furthermore, if you work on a part-time basis, you will want to know which hours your employer will expect you to work.

Confidentiality, privacy and responsibility

Every business has trade secrets and client data that it needs to protect. Your employment agreement might include confidentiality agreements and non-compete agreements. This may seem straightforward, but you should make sure that the clauses and restrictions suit your needs with regard to your employment.

Termination, severance and survival

In the best scenarios, employees choose to leave voluntarily or the decision to end employment is a matter of mutual agreement. This does not always happen. You should pore over the clauses and terms to understand what either party requires in order to terminate the relationship, including the amount of notice and if it should be written.

As a legal document, the employment agreement binds both the employee and the employer to its terms and conditions. Just as you will be accountable for your lapses, you should hold your employer accountable for their own. If your employer has violated the terms of the employment agreement and, despite receiving notice, has not redressed them, speak with a skilled New York employment lawyer.


If you are facing employment law or personal injury law issues of any kind, contact Mirza Law today to schedule your initial consultation with our seasoned legal team.