In new jobs, please push back on signing documents without reading them.

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by arghvark

I’ve just accepted a position with a contracting agency; as part of the paperwork, they sent me 2 signature pages for electronic signature. One is numbered page 12, one page 10 from a different document. In both cases, they state that my signature certifies that I have read and understood the documents, that I understand I’m responsible for things the documents say, and in one case I’m agreeing to pay “reasonable attorneys’ fees” (note the plural) in case they win a suit concerning my breach of the agreement. In neither case was I provided the document.

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I called the account manager at the contracting agency to say I needed to see the document I was signing, and he was completely nonplussed, said he couldn’t possibly send me the agreement through the mail, blah blah blah. So we’ll arrange a time for me to go read it, and I will ask for a printed copy of it. It’s a good thing I’m local. I guess I will have to trust that the printed agreement is the same as whatever one they decide corresponds to the signature block, or tell them I refuse to sign a signature page that is disconnected from a document and probably get fired before I ever start.

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I gather this is common, but I’d like to put out an appeal — push back on this behavior. Don’t sign things without reading them, and particular don’t sign things without even being given a chance to read them. I think these companies are less likely to keep doing this if even half the people that get them say “No, I’m not signing a blank document that says I’ve read and understood it.”

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