One of the many reasons why the Internet is a terrific resource for employers is the ability to search for sample forms and contracts to get ideas on language and format. For example, check out a site called OneCLE which has pulled publicly-filed employment contracts into a free site..
In the midst of doing a search for sample employment contracts a while back, I came across portions of the employment contract of New York Yankees’ shortstop Derek Jeter from the Baseball Hall of Fame website. His contract is actually among several available on the HOF site including Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio and Walter Spahn. For some reason, I find these contracts fascinating; perhaps it makes you realize that even the most famous sports stars have the same type of contracts that other "ordinary" people use for employment.
Except, of course, that these contracts sometimes have provisions that are a little different.
For example, among the portion of Jeter’s contract to be quoted is a provision about the apparent effect that certain types of injuries might have on his salary. What types? Well, how about an injury from any type of competitive or non-competitive, impromptu or organized games or activities such as: "billiards, boccie, bowling, cricket and darts", to name a few. (Lumberjack sports like log rolling are also apparently out.) Of course, this is by no means unique to Jeter, but it’s still strange to see the provision written down.
But beyond that, most people would probably be disappointed to learn that the majority of the terms of Jeter’s employment is covered by the standard Major League Uniform Player’s Contract. That contract can be found as part of the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the players’ union and Major League Baseball (download here). Most players have significantly less restrictions on their outside activities under the standard contract, with boxing and wrestling being strictly prohibited.
Of course, if you’re curious how much Jeter is making this year, it’s right there in black and white: $20 million. He is paid on a semi-monthly basis from April 15th to September 30th. That’s a $1.67M check (before taxes) twice a month. Wow.
Of course, if you just want to know the amounts of every baseball contract, one blog has set up a clearinghouse of every major league (and in some cases minor league) baseball player. Check it out.
In the meantime, for companies that are looking for ideas on the employment contracts that they use, don’t be afraid to use the Internet as a starting point for your research. Just make sure you’ve consulted with legal counsel about why you should or should not use certain provisions.