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Signing up without giving up

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in Human Resources,Workplace Communication

You’ve undergone rounds of interviews, negotiated a good salary and received a job offer. You’re about to accept, but there’s one more hurdle: Your potential employer has asked you to sign an employment agreement.

You’re not alone. An increasing number of companies require new hires to accept elaborate legal contracts loaded with terms that limit the employee’s mobility to work elsewhere down the line.

Standard employment agreements describe the job and specify the pay, benefits and bonus structure. That’s all fine. But these contracts also typically include a noncompete clause that may prohibit you from quitting to take another job within, say, 50 miles of the one you’re offered.

Try to replace harsh noncompete clauses with a more career-friendly nonsolicitation clause, suggests Working Mother magazine. This allows you to work closer to home as long as you don’t recruit former clients.

If the stakes are high, hire an attorney to review the agreement before you sign. And to evaluate the enforceability of a noncompete contract, check out the Web site www.breakyournoncompete.com.

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