Contracts are the backbone of a successful business. A solid contract with partners, clients, vendors and others can provide a strong defense when disputes arise. California employment contracts offer protection for both the employer and the worker, clarifying the expectations and responsibilities of both parties. However, there are certain factors that can render a contract void or invalid.
An invalid contract defeats the purpose of having a contract in the first place. An employer who goes to the trouble of drafting an employee contract may have wasted valuable time and resources if he or she cannot enforce the terms of the contract because certain factors void the agreement. Unfortunately, it is not always clear that a contract is invalid until a dispute arises and the matter goes to court.
A contract signed by a minor is invalid in California and other states. Additionally, if a signer is impaired, under duress or lacking in mental capacity at the time the agreement was executed, a court may determine the contract is invalid. Certainly, a contract that requires the signer to perform illegal acts or one that contains misrepresentations or false claims will not likely stand up in court.
Perhaps one of the most common reasons why a contract will be void is if it contains material mistakes, either on the part of the employer or the new hire. An employer may include the wrong salary or unintentionally omit certain benefits, for example. An employee who signs such a contract may have to fight for those rights.
When contract disputes arise, including those related to employment contracts, the parties may expect they have to take the matter to a California court. Instead, they may find satisfaction in trying alternative dispute resolution methods, which can be more effective and less stressful than litigation. However, it is important to have legal counsel who is skilled in all facets of contract disputes.