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Know your worth when negotiating an employment contract

When it comes to negotiating employment contracts, knowing one's rights and worth in the workplace is important.

Employees in Los Angeles and Long Beach should feel empowered during contract negotiations, realizing their experience, education, credentials and job performance all affect the power they have in the negotiation process. But employees also need to be aware of wage and hour laws and other employment laws in order to ensure they negotiate legally sound contracts with their employers.

Any employee's first contract with an employer is a starting point at a time when the employer doesn't know the employee or what to expect of the employee. However, by the time a contract is set to expire, it's time to re-negotiate a subsequent one. A second contract is an opportunity for employees to get what they desire, and to also be compensated appropriately for their hard work and loyalty to their employers.

Some employees have a term contract with their employer, and there is usually a clause stating that if the contract expires and no new contract has been established, the terms of the current contract will remain in place. With that in mind, workers should be aware of when their contracts will expire so they can arrange to negotiate for a new -- and hopefully improved -- contract.

When negotiating compensation, benefits and salaries, workers also need to be aware that some employers still try to get away with paying women less than what they pay men. Workers need to know that the California Equal Pay Act and the federal Equal Pay Act mandate that women and men must receive equal pay when their work is comparable.

Understanding how one's value is measured will help in negotiations. Understanding one's rights in the workplace will also help. Workers should understand that although they may have the power to negotiate additional benefits, they should not be cheated out of the benefits they are legally entitled to receive.

Source: American Medical News, "Physician employment: Build a contract that suits you," Victoria Stagg Elliott, Jan. 14, 2013

  • Our Los Angeles / Long Beach employment law firm handles a wide variety of employment law issues, including equal pay violations and other violations of employees' rights. To learn more about protecting your rights at work, please visit our firm's page on equal pay and gender discrimination in the workplace.

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