Watch out what you sign at work

Doing your job and doing it well is the best way to stay out of trouble at work, advises Patricia Barasch, a Moorestown attorney who heads the National Employment Lawyers Association, a group of lawyers specializing in representing individuals in workplace cases. Here's the next tip: Watch what you sign

When you get a job, be careful about the paperwork you sign, especially in the honeymoon glow of initial employment. Barasch said her organization has seen a national trend toward companies requiring employees to sign documents that give various rights.

Patricia Barasch

There are two common documents that can pose problems later:

1. Your employer may ask you to sign away rights to a jury trial in favor of binding arbitration if there are disputes or other workplace problems.

2. Your employer may ask you to sign a non-compete clause. These clauses are fairly common, but the best ones, from the employee point of view, put the least restrictions on future work. These non-compete documents can be binding with consequences that can last for years, so it may be worth it to consult a lawyer before you sign.

Watch out for "any agreement that has post-employment restrictions," Barasch said. You can read my profile of Barasch by clicking here. Her law firm is Schall & Barasch LLC

Check back here tomorrow for more advice from Barasch.