“If You Sign Something At Work, SAVE A COPY” – A Critical Workplace Negotiating Insight

“If You Sign Something At Work, SAVE A COPY” – A Critical Workplace Negotiating Insight

Workplace Negotiating Insight No. 9:
“If You Sign Something At Work, SAVE A COPY.”
A Critical Workplace Negotiating Insight

“Bob” worked for his employer for 9 years. In his first week on the job, he signed an Offer Letter, Confidentiality Agreement, and a receipt for an Employee Handbook. He later signed Performance Reviews, a Stock Option Agreement, two Bonus Agreements, a Garden Leave Agreement and a Relocation Agreement. He didn’t save a copy of any.

Bob then received a great job offer from a competitor of his employer, and accepted it. He wanted to review his signed documents, but didn’t have any copies, and he felt that he could not ask HR for copies without making his boss suspicious. At what he thought was the right time, he resigned.

Sadly, after resigning, only then did he find out that two of the documents he had signed obligated him to (a) give 90 days notice, (b) not work for a competitor for six months, and (c) because he failed to honor both obligations, he lost the new job, and also had to repay two years of bonuses, his relocation reimbursement, and incurred substantial legal expense. Overall: a disaster.

Bob was navigating choppy waters with a self-imposed blindfold, and for this reason ended up “up the creek without a paddle.”

“Mary,” on the other hand, had signed almost all of the same kinds of documents, but she saved a copy of each one in a file on her personal computer at home. That enabled Mary to safely, securely and wisely navigate and negotiate her way to a new job when the opportunity arose. No disaster for Mary.

Need I say more?

It’s a simple, healthy and wise habit to save a copy of each and every document you sign at work, so that it is available for review when you need to. And, it’s never too late to start doing so.

Please do your best to help yourself, empower yourself, and protect yourself, in this very simple way. No one can do it for you.

PS: One of the services we offer blog visitors and other friends is to review, analyze and explain their signed documents for them . . . before it is too late, for a reasonable fee. Click [ here ] if interested.

Forewarned is forearmed.

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Empower Yourself at Work; No One Can Do It for You.

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