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I got a job offer for a regular day shift, Mon-Fri 8-5, with no after hours shifts. However, the job offer letter they sent me has a clause: "must agree to a minimum 1-year commitment to after-hours team"

edit: the actual clause in agreement: "You understand that by signing this offer of employment you are committing to a minimum of one year working on the Enterprise Service Desk Afterhours team... Please Initial below to confirm that you have read and understand this requirement"

When I asked, they told me they were in a rush so they sent me the after-hours offer document, which is otherwise exactly the same as my job, just for after-hours workers. However, the implication is that I should now sign the agreement with the clause agreeing to work after-hours.

I will be scanning and sending the signed printed document back via PDF. Presumably I could white-out the irrelevant section - are there any reasons why this might be bad? What's the right way to deal with this?

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    Speculation: white-out looks like tampering. In some official documents I've filled out, if you wanted to make a modification, you were supposed to cross it out (one line through the text) and put your initials by the change. – Justin Jan 25 '18 at 0:32
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    Never, ever sign a legal agreement containing terms that you do not wish to agree to. You can be legally bound to those terms as soon as you send back the signed agreement, regardless of what "verbal understanding" you might have. Do not do it under any circumstances. – TheSoundDefense Jan 25 '18 at 1:12
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    IANAL but cross out an initial – paparazzo Jan 25 '18 at 1:46
  • Crossing-out/initialing sounds like it might work. Its annoying that they sent the wrong one, but for something like this I feel this would be enough to indicate it is not relevant while still not looking like I messed with it dishonestly. – Niahc Jan 25 '18 at 1:49
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    I realize now that I should've said it, but you want to get them to send you a corrected contract if possible. And you probably shouldn't cross out + initial unless you ask them first, and I don't know if that's legally valid in this case, so you'd probably want to do some research and consult a lawyer if you wanted to go that route – Justin Jan 25 '18 at 1:55
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No, you should not sign the document they sent you "in error".

If they sent you the wrong contract then it is up to them to send you the correct one. It is unreasonable to ask you to sign a contract that does not represent the actual meeting of the minds.

However, the implication is that I should now sign the agreement with the clause agreeing to work after-hours.

How did this implication come about? That conversation should have ended with a clear and explicit agreement about how to get a correct contract drafted and signed -- not with a vague implication that leaves you asking for clarification from total strangers on the internet.

I will be scanning and sending the signed printed document back via PDF.

If you make any changes at all in the wording of the contract without permission, then you may become the drafting party. This legal concept comes into play if there is ever a dispute over the meaning of a contract. Traditionally any ambiguity in a contract is interpreted in favor of the non-drafting party.

I suspect the most likely truth is that they lied to you when they told you the job does not require after hours shifts.

  • The implication is when I asked for clarification, and they admitted it is not the right contract but made no indication that it was a mistake or that they would get me the correct version. They mentioned they sent me this one because they "were in a rush", which implies to me they knew they were sending the wrong one and expect me to sign it anyway – Niahc Jan 25 '18 at 1:18
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    Even if you totally trust your manager-to-be, do not sign it unchanged. The problem is that manager could leave, and a future manager would go by the signed document, not the verbal understandings. You can ask them to strike out and initial the offending clause, then send you the modified contract to sign. – Patricia Shanahan Jan 25 '18 at 1:21
  • Good point - If a new manager were to come on they could start assigning me to the after hours team. I recognize that I may need to work after-hours in some situations regardless, but the way the agreement says 1 year commitment to the "afterhours team" seems to imply more than just working the occassional after-hours – Niahc Jan 25 '18 at 1:54
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    Although mistakes happen, we're all human, any company worth working for will find the time (no matter how rushed) to send you the right contract. I mean unless they don't have a copy of the correct contract because it's a new position or something, but absolutely do not sign it in its current state. Simply ask them to forward you the correct contract which you will read over, sign and send back to them. – Tas Jan 25 '18 at 2:12
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    I would just imply that signing the wrong contract is unacceptable by giving them three choices that don't include you signing the wrong contract: 1) You cross out that section and don't initial it. 2) They send you a new copy with that section crossed out and they initial it. 3) They send you a correct contract. Just ask politely what the next steps are and offer those three suggestions. – David Schwartz Jan 25 '18 at 6:50

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