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Some basics about employment contracts

Many employees in California have relationships with their employers that are governed by employment contracts. The terms of these contracts can be fairly extensive, governing most aspects of the duties and obligations expected from both sides. However, there are some basics about employment contracts that our readers should be familiar with.

For starters, almost all employment contracts will address the length of the term of employment and how employment can be terminated by either side. For instance, the employee may want to include a condition that they can leave at any time with no notice, while the employer will likely seek a defined period of time in which the services of the employee are exclusive to the employer.

Next, the contract will need to address compensation and benefits. Many employees are paid on a biweekly basis in California, but employees who have contracts with their employers may have other terms of payment, such as monthly or upon completion of set goals. Benefits will need to be addressed with specificity, in terms of health and life insurance and vacation or benefit leave.

Lastly, and, perhaps most importantly, an employment contract will likely have a provision that determines where any disputes will be litigated or arbitrated. These provisions can be viewed as skewed in the employer’s interest, so any employee in California who is negotiating a contract for employment will want to analyze these provisions carefully or get the assistance of an experienced attorney to make sure they are not signing a contract that puts them at a disadvantage.


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