Employment Contracts Lawyers
What if my employer wants to give me a new contract?
Sometimes, employees are given new employment contracts to sign (or asked to amend their current ones) after they have already worked for the employer for some time. This could be because of a promotion, a change in ownership, restructuring, or simply a desire on the employer’s part to limit an employee’s rights.
However, it is important to know that new employment contracts are not valid unless both the employee and employer were provided “fresh consideration”, which means a benefit for both sides. For example, if an employee was given a raise in exchange for a new contract, then the contract would be valid because the employee got more money and the employer limited its liability in the future. However, if the employee was unilaterally given a new contract without any new benefit of any kind (i.e. raise, bonus, better insurance plan, etc.), then the new contract would be unenforceable. It would be, as the old saying goes, “not worth the paper it is written on”.
Fresh consideration is just one of many issues raised by new employment contracts. Other issues to look out for is the insertion of a termination clause or a restrictive covenant, or changes to vacation days.
How can Dutton Employment Law help?
Our employment law lawyers can advice whether your employer can change your contract, tell you whether a change to the contract would be enforceable in court, and help you decide whether to refuse, negotiate or accept the proposed changes.