What are Employment Contracts?

Employment contracts are agreements between the employer and employee that define the employment relationship, such as the employee’s pay and the amount of hours required. Employees in California are presumed to be in an “at will” employment, unless there is an employment contract that says otherwise. Employers usually want to keep the flexibility of the “at will” doctrine and therefore refrain from giving employees such contracts. Nevertheless, employment contracts can be created in two different ways:

  1. When an employment contract is created in writing (any kind of writing) or verbally (by words), it is considered an express employment contract.
  2. On the other hand, the employer’s policies, practices, and actions can create an implied employment contract (that is not necessarily written). Even promises made by a supervisor may create such a contract.

Issues with Employment Contracts

Employment contracts can sometimes provide a time frame for the employment, or state that the employee could be fired only for “a cause,” or a specific reason (unlike the “at will” doctrine). Other employment contracts allow the employer to fire the employee for no cause after giving notice as required in the contract. Other issues in employment contract disputes are unpaid salary, commissions, and bonuses.

If the employer breaches the employment contract, the employee may be entitled to money compensation for the breach, including lost monthly wages (backpay) in the amount the employee would have received if the employee was not fired. Employees could also get other money compensation caused by the breach of the employment contract such as loss of future earnings.

If you were fired in violation of your employment contract, or if you feel that the contract was breached, or if you have a general employment contract dispute, you may be eligible for money compensation. Contact DBY Law today at (213) 316-8844 for a free consultation and assistance with your case.