There are several reasons why, as an employee, you would want to have your employment contract reviewed by a lawyer.
First of all, it’s important to keep in mind that this may be a position for years or perhaps even decades. Most of your rights and obligations will flow from the written contract, so it’s essential to get it right at the outset. You will want to make sure you have a lawyer who can walk you through the contract and decipher the legalese for you. That last thing you want is to sign up to a lengthy document only to discover years later that there are overbearing terms or terms you didn’t intend to sign onto.
A second reason why you would want to have your contract reviewed by a lawyer is to make sure that the contract complies with the statutory minimums and rights you're afforded in B.C. For example, the Employment Standards Act provides certain protections for workers for items such as overtime, vacation time and vacation pay. You want to make sure that the contract is compliant with the statutory minimums.
Furthermore, employment agreements frequently include Non-Solicitation or Non-Competition Clause, which can have the effect of actually restricting an employee’s livelihood after they have been let go. It’s also crucial for employees to read through and understand the full implications of these clauses before they agree to work for the employer.
As an employee, it’s also essential to ensure that the contract clearly spells out what your job responsibilities and job duties are. This is particularly important so that the employer cannot unilaterally change the scope of your work down the road.