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Contract tips

March 9, 2008

From Joel Discussion Group
http://discuss.joelonsoftware.com/default.asp?joel
Read these things VERY carefully : .

1. Do you also have the right to terminate the contract. I do not sign contracts where they can fire me, but I can’t quit. Read this carefully. Sometimes they slip this in.

2. What are the terms of the “non compete”. Does it say you cannot work for the employer for 1 year after the contract? You want that taken out since this is contract to hire. This gives the contract company too much power. Don’t even talk to them about this. Just cross it out and send it to them. Most of the time they won’t even notice… and if they sign it its binding. Now a non-compete saying you cannot work with another contract company is normal. I generally only accept 6 months and not 1 year.

3. Anything that implies they can sue you, discuss with your friends. Make sure its mutual or have it taken out. They will say something like “legally responsible”. That means “we will sue you”.

4. Do NOT sign an indemnification clause. This means if you sue them and win, they dont pay your legal fees. These are typically one sided. The only reason to sue them is if they don’t pay you. This can mean they don’t really have to pay your last pay check if they just don’t want to. These are not that common. So the ones who do it, are trying to screw you.

5. Make sure that the contract states, that when the contract ends all binding terms on you are ended(save the non-compete which is agreed to with a date). They will say “well it m eans that”. If it does, then its no problem to add it. You can grab a pen and write it right in the contract.

Dates don’t really matter. This is just some generic piece of paper they give to everyone. Remember its the client option to hire you.

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