Employment contract – offeror did not sign

I’ve been offered a contract. The offeror did
not sign and the contract contains a ‘special
conditions’ clause that says the contract is not
valid without both signatures. They have
asked me to sign and then wait until they sign.
Is this a valid contract? Should I sign if?

Asked on March 31, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Massachusetts


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

That is a valid contract, and the "special conditions" clause is also valid--the offer they have extended to you includes the restriction that until both parties sign, the contract does not become enforceable, which is a legal condition. 
As to whether you should sign, ask yourself these three questions:
1) Is it a good deal--that is, assuming it took effect immediately, would you take it?
2) Can you afford to wait awhile (potentially) to see if they sign, too? (Or will not having a definitive answer now cause you problems?)
3) Do you trust them? (This is a generally question for *all* contracts: NEVER contract with anyone you do not trust.)
If the answer to all three is "yes," then you probably should sign. If the answer to any is "no," then do not.

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

The contract is valid if it contains the essential terms of identifying the parties, subject matter, sets forth the time for performance and amount of compensation.
You can sign the contract and if the other party doesn't sign, use that clause you cited as a defense to enforcement.

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