Employers in California and elsewhere depend on contracts to keep their companies running smoothly and to help avoid litigation. Some business owners require their employees to sign employment contracts, while others prefer to use employment agreements that are simply implied. What is the difference?
There are a number of employment contracts out there. Some are used by employers to state the terms of employment. Such contracts may include:
- Confidentiality agreements: These restrict what employees can share about their employers and company products and secrets.
- Noncompete agreements: These restrict where a person can work after leaving a company.
- Termination clauses: These give details as to acceptable reasons to fire an employee and how the termination process will work.
- Arbitration clauses: These state that employees who have issues with their employers will have to utilize arbitration to resolve the matter rather than going to court.
These and other very specific employment contracts do make sense in some fields of employment, but not all. When they do not make sense, employers can utilize implied employment agreements. Employee and employer expectations are often spelled out in employee handbooks or policies. Changes to company policy may be made verbally or in writing at any time. When one is hired without signing an employment contract, he or she is agreeing to the terms spelled out in the company policies or handbook.
Employers in California can seek legal assistance when drafting specific employee contracts or when writing employee handbooks and company policies. On the flip side, employees can turn to legal counsel for help negotiating the terms of employment contracts or fighting the terms, if that becomes necessary. No matter which side of employment contract issue one is on, an experienced attorney can help one fight to protect his or her interests.