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Employment Contracts Are Foundational Agreements

Employees are typically a crucial component that enables businesses to operate successfully. For the contract to be valid, the terms must be fair and equitable while adhering to applicable local, state and federal laws. Given the complexity of employment law, employees and employers can call upon the Law Office of Richard B. Rudolph to draft, review or enforce employment contracts effectively.

What Makes An Employment Contract Legal In California?

Several criteria must be met for an employment contract to be legal in California, such as:

  • Mutual consent: Both the employer and employee must voluntarily agree to the terms of the contract.
  • Consideration: There must be a mutual exchange of value, such as work performed in return for compensation.
  • Lawful object: The purpose of the contract must be legal.
  • Sufficient certainty: The terms of the contract must be clear enough that the parties understand their roles and obligations.
  • Capable parties: Both parties must be able to enter into a contract, meaning they are of legal age and mentally competent.

The circumstances of employment contracts vary depending on the company and the work, so there may be other applicable conditions.

Does It Need To Be In Writing?

While handshakes traditionally seal a deal, contracts generally put the terms of the arrangement in writing so each side can refer to it if they have concerns. Still, contracts do not need to be in writing to be enforceable, particularly if the agreement involves services that take place within a single year. Still, the statute of frauds requires a written agreement for arrangements or services extending over a year.

Often Used For Key Staff

It is a common use of contracts for higher paid or critical positions. These positions often have complex compensation packages, including salaries, bonuses, stock options and severance provisions. Such agreements may also include specific terms regarding job responsibilities, performance expectations, confidentiality and dispute resolution procedures.

Common Employment Contract Violations

Violations of employment contracts can be detrimental to both the employee and employer, with either party disputing whether the other party met the agreement’s terms. Some of the most common violations include:

  • Nonpayment of wages: Employers failing to pay the agreed-upon salary or wages constitutes a breach of contract.
  • Wrongful termination: Dismissing an employee in violation of the contractual terms or without following the agreed-upon procedure.
  • Breach of confidentiality: Either party disclosing confidential information contravenes the contract’s terms.
  • Failure to provide agreed benefits: If an employer does not provide the benefits stipulated in the contract, it may result in a contract violation (although the contract also may specify reasonable exceptions for when it’s unenforceable).

There Are Different Formats For Resolving Disputes

Employment contracts will often include an agreed-upon format for resolving a dispute. Ideally, it starts with communication between employees and management, but formal methods for resolving the dispute are mediation, arbitration or litigation, depending on the contract terms and the nature of the dispute. Generally, litigation is a last resort after attempting one of the other formats. Whatever the circumstances, our firm can provide knowledgeable guidance.

Poorly Written Contracts Cost Time And Money

Poorly worded agreements can lead to costly misunderstandings and unnecessary disputes. Richard B. Rudolph in Newport Beach has represented employers and employees for over 30 years.“. Call us at 949-825-5210 or use our contact form to set up a free initial consultation today.