Offer Letter Review

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What Is an Offer Letter Review?

An offer letter review is a review of an employment offer before signing an employment contract.

When you receive an offer letter, you can review the specific information relating to your proposed position, including:

  • Your title
  • Start date
  • Salary

An offer letter review gives you time to determine if there are any provisions or terms that you do not like, such as an employee confidentiality agreement or noncompete agreement.

You will have the opportunity to negotiate your job offer with the employer. For many professionals, this is a necessary process that helps them secure the salary and role they want within a company.

Here is an article with more information about offers.

What Should I Look for in an Offer Letter?

When you receive an offer letter, you have the opportunity to review factors such as:

  • Your title
  • Salary
  • Role
  • Responsibilities
  • Benefits package
  • Contingencies

Contingencies for your employment may include a non-competition agreement, employee confidentiality agreement, and severance agreement.

A severance agreement reserves the employer’s right to end your employment with the company and your right to receive severance pay in exchange for not filing wrongful lawsuits against the company.

Noncompete agreements vary drastically by company, but they prevent employees from leaving their current jobs and working for competitors in nearby regions. In some cases, non-competition agreements can stop you from working in the field with competing companies for up to 5 years.

You may also need to sign a non-disclosure agreement and confidentiality agreement before being offered an employment contract. Per the confidentiality agreement, you may not share details about your work with the public. These agreements protect customers’ data and businesses’ intellectual property.

When you conduct an offer letter review, be sure to confirm:

  • The position and job title
  • The role and responsibilities of the job
  • The proposed annual salary and any benefits
  • The proposed start date and potential probationary period
  • Reporting structure
  • Bonuses eligibility
  • Contingencies for an employment contract, such as passing a drug screening and background check

You will provide your signature upon acceptance of the offer letter. Afterward, you must proceed with any additional steps outlined in the document before receiving and signing your official employment agreement.

Here is an article with more information about what is included in a job offer letter.

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Why Should You Review Your Offer Letter?

While getting a job offer is incredibly exciting, you should never accept one without reading it carefully. This is because there may be contingencies, or conditions, within the offer that negatively affect you later.

For example, imagine you have been looking for a job in tech for several months. Finally, you receive an offer and accept it eagerly. However, you are later let go by the company and have to start your job hunt again.

You realize, to your dismay, that you accepted a non-competition agreement that prevents you from working for any tech companies in the same area. So now, for at least two years, you will not be able to work for any technology company without facing legal consequences.

An offer letter review ensures that the terms and conditions of employment are fair and reasonable. You can also gain a clearer understanding of your role and the expectations your employer has for you.

Furthermore, an offer letter review can let you know what benefits you stand to receive and their eligibility requirements.

Here is an article with three tips on improving your compensation package after receiving a job offer letter.

What Types of Lawyers Review Offer Letters?

An employment lawyer reviews job offer letters and employment contracts. They can ensure that the offer letter and subsequent employment contract are fair, comprehensive, and legally compliant.

Working with a lawyer can help clarify any points of confusion or address uncertainties. For example, if you are unsure what limitations a part of your offer letter incurs, such as a confidentiality agreement, the lawyer can help.

Lawyers can also be beneficial partners as you negotiate a job offer. For example, they can suggest fair alternatives to conditions or compensation packages that you can present to the employer.

It is also important for the job candidate to have a clearly defined role. This can prevent employee exploitation and unfair employer advantage.

Your employment lawyer will work with you to ensure all the contents of your job offer align with your goals and ideal terms.

Another reason to review an offer letter is in the case of a freelance contract. There are laws that protect someone who is a 1099 independent contractor from being treated like an employee without benefits.

A lawyer can determine whether your freelance job offer letter is fair and valid in the eyes of the law. They can also suggest amendments to your contract that would secure greater compensation or protection for you.

Here is an article detailing employment lawyers and the employment contract review process.

How Long Can You Review an Offer Letter?

Most employers give candidates 2 to 3 days to review an offer letter. You can either:

  • Negotiate the offer
  • Accept the offer
  • Decline the offer

While you can request additional time to review an offer letter, you cannot ask for more than 7 days.

If you want to have a lawyer review your offer letter, then sending the document to them as soon as you receive it is a good idea. Employment lawyers can work within the conservative timeframes employers have so that you can expect a full report and suggestions from your attorney within a few days.

When responding to a job offer, make sure that you clarify why you would like additional time to review the offer letter. Example responses include:

“Thank you so much for the offer letter! I am grateful for the opportunity to work with your company and grow my career as a member of the [Job Department] team. Upon review, I noticed that this job requires mandatory overtime of 25 hours per quarter. Can you expand upon this? I would like to discuss this further at your earliest convenience.”

“Thank you for the offer letter! I have been looking for a job like this for a long time, and I would be delighted to become a part of the [Company Name] team. Would it be possible for me to review the offer for an additional 3 days? Before committing to the position, I would like to review it in close detail. I am honored to be considered for the role and want to ensure that it is the perfect fit. Thank you.”

While an employer may decline additional time to review an offer, it does not hurt to ask. You should also prepare ahead of time for negotiations. If there are terms you do not like or suggestions you wish to make, make sure you write a definitive proposal of your own.

Here is an article with tips on how to ask for more time to perform an offer letter review.

Can I Negotiate an Offer Letter?

You are free to negotiate any job offer. Negotiating terms can give you fairer compensation and more favorable job benefits. Some people fear that negotiating a job offer is a bad idea. However, it is common and encouraged.

One of the most negotiated employment terms is salary. You may feel the compensation you have been offered is too low. It is entirely valid to negotiate higher pay, so long as you can provide a justifiable reason for a higher salary.

In some cases, negotiations can result in employers rescinding an offer. However, in most cases, you will only have an offer taken away if you make unreasonable demands. Most employers are willing to negotiate or decline your requests while extending their original offer.

Here is an article on how to negotiate a job offer.

How Much Does an Offer Letter Review Cost?

An offer letter review costs approximately $250 to $350 per hour. Lawyers set their rates, and it will generally take between 2 and 4 hours to review an average job offer letter.

You can request a quote from an employment letter before you agree to their price.

According to ContractCounsel’s data, the average cost to review a contract is $608. However, because offer letters tend to be much shorter, you may pay half of that amount.

Here is an article with more information on how much it costs to review standard contracts.

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