Although not every San Diego employee is going to be offered an employment contract when making his or her next career move, many professionals with a specialized line of work and many executives would ordinarily expect to get a contract when taking a job offer.
Employment law differs from state to state, but the State of California affords many legal rights to those individuals considered to be employees. In doing so, California recognizes several forms of employment contracts. So, how do you know if you, as an employee, are protected by an employment contract?
When San Diego residents think about a dispute over pay with their employer, the first thing that will likely pop in to their mind is a debate how much an employee is entitled to in ordinary cash payments under California law.
A San Diego employee who is taking on his or her first job after graduating college may be expected to sign an employment agreement of some sort before starting work. This agreement may discuss the employee's access to stock options, which employers may but not have to offer to their employees.
Like all but one of the other states, California is what is called an employment "at will" state. This means that absent an employment agreement to the contrary, an employer in San Diego or in other parts of the state can end his or her employee's job for any reason, so long as the reason is otherwise legal under federal and state law.
As one of the perks of a job, many San Diego employers will offer their prospective employees some extra job security by promising in a formal employment agreement not to terminate the employee except for good cause or just cause.
Unlike many if not most states, California law strictly prohibits employers, even those headquartered out of state, from requiring their employees to sign covenants not to compete. California courts will not enforce such provisions written into employment contracts or severance agreements, no matter how reasonable the provisions might seem to be.
California is an employment-at-will, state like most of her sister states. Many workers in San Diego who are employed via private businesses may not have an employment contract. Even those who do will likely sign an agreement with a clause providing that the employer may terminate the employee at any time and for any reason, the contract notwithstanding.
Negotiating an employment contract may be one of the most important things you do in your career. The terms of your contract can specify your salary, hours, benefits, severance pay, the scope of your employment, and even the activities in which you engage after you leave the job. If you fail to aggressively and fairly negotiate your position on these matters, then you could be taken advantage of by your employer. Additionally, when you think your employer is in breach of contract, then you need to be prepared to take legal action to protect your best interests.