Discuss Your Options with a Los Angeles Employment Contract Attorney
In California, most employment relationships are “at will.” This means that either party can terminate the relationship at any time and for any reason, as long as the reason is lawful. But, in certain industries and occupations, employment contracts are common. If you are being asked to sign an employment contract (or if you are dealing with a contract-related dispute), you should discuss your options with a qualified employment contract attorney.
We Represent Employees in Los Angeles in All Employment Contract Matters
At Attorneys for Employees, we have significant experience representing employees in contract negotiations and contract-related disputes. We also assist employees with proving that they have implied employment contracts under California law. If you need to negotiate an employment contract, we can represent you in negotiations with your prospective employer and its legal department. If you need to protect your contractual rights as an employee, we can use our experience to fight for the outcome you deserve.
Employment Contract Negotiations
While most employment contracts cover the same core issues, there is no such thing as a “standard” employment agreement. Employers’ legal departments craft contracts that are designed to provide them with maximum protections, and, as a prospective employee, it is up to you to make sure that your employment contract includes appropriate protections for you as well. Prospective employees also can—and should—negotiate the financial terms of their employment, and an experienced Los Angeles employment contract attorney can help make sure you do not leave anything on the table unnecessarily.
In a typical scenario, employment contract negotiations will involve addressing many (if not all) of the following:
- Scope of Employment and Job Duties – When negotiating an employment contract, clearly defining your position and duties will help ensure that you are not asked to take on additional or alternate responsibilities over time.
- Schedule and Work Locations – Depending on your personal preferences, specifying the hours you will work, providing for scheduling flexibility, ensuring that you will have a dedicated office, and ensuring that you will be able to work from home could all be important aspects of your negotiations.
- Term of Employment and Extensions – In addition to establishing the initial term of your employment, you will also want to establish the terms on which you will be able to extend the duration of your employment relationship.
- Base Compensation – Your base compensation is your annual salary (in most cases); and while employers in California must advertise specific salary ranges, there is often a significant amount of room for negotiation based on qualifications and experience.
- Bonuses, Options and Incentives – Negotiating bonuses, stock options and other incentives can significantly increase the overall financial value of your employment relationship, and performance-based incentives will often be more palatable to prospective employers than exceptional base salaries.
- Benefits – Along with compensation package, your attorney can assist you with negotiating a favorable benefits package as well. This may include healthcare coverage, life insurance, retirement matching, paid time off, and various other types of benefits.
- Confidentiality – Most employers will include confidentiality provisions in their employment contracts as a matter of course. While employers may have a legitimate interest in maintaining confidentiality, these employment contract provisions frequently overreach.
- Intellectual Property Rights and “Work for Hire” – As an employee, it is important to make sure you protect your ownership interest in any intellectual property that is rightfully yours. While agreeing to a “work for hire” provision will be appropriate in some circumstances, you should not automatically give up your right to any IP you may develop within the scope of your employment.
- Termination – When negotiating an employment contract, it is also important to carefully address the subject of termination. You will most likely need to curtail the company’s broad termination rights, and it will be important for you to secure appropriate termination rights as well.
You will note that this list does not include non-competition or non-solicitation covenants. While these are also common employment contract provisions, they are, for the most part, not enforceable within the context of the employment relationship under California law. If you receive an employment contract that includes one (or both) of these provisions, you should consult with a Los Angeles employment contract attorney about how to tactfully handle this situation.
Employment Contract Disputes
In addition to representing employees in employment contract negotiations, we also represent employees in employment contract disputes. If you have an employment contract and are facing a dispute with your employer, it is important to make sure you know your rights and the options you have available.
Attorneys for Employees can review your employment contract, determine if you have an obligation to participate in any alternative dispute resolution (ADR) proceedings, determine what remedies are available to you (or your employer), and advise you regarding your best path forward. Your attorney can work to resolve your dispute amicably and preserve your employment relationship if desired, and your attorney can fight to enforce your contractual rights by all means available if necessary.
Implied Employment Contract Claims
While most employment contract disputes involve written and signed contracts, California law also recognizes the existence of implied employment contracts in some cases. If you have an implied employment contract, your rights are different from those of an at-will employee. An employment contract attorney can examine the circumstances of your employment to determine if you have an implied contract; and if you do, we can use this to your advantage in any severance negotiations or dispute resolution proceedings.
Schedule an Appointment with a Los Angeles Employment Contract Attorney
We invite you to contact us if you need help with contract negotiations or dispute resolution. All of our attorneys have extensive experience, and we exclusively represent employees. To get started with an initial confidential consultation at Attorneys for Employees, tell us how we can reach you online today.