Employment Contracts and Documents Preparation Service for Employers

Lawyer Helping El Segundo Businesses

The Calderone Law Firm provides employment litigation services to companies. We also prepare carefully crafted employment contracts to help businesses avoid misunderstandings, prevent conflicts and minimize litigation risk. Employers should develop policies, contracts and employment manuals that provide a clear delineation of the rights and obligations of each party. If you are a company that is concerned about developing strong employment contracts, contact the Calderone Law Firm to speak with an El Segundo employment contract attorney.

Employment Contracts

Employment contracts are legally enforceable agreements that create and govern the employer-employee relationship. They can be created by a writing, an oral agreement, or implied circumstances. However, memorializing employment contracts in writing with the assistance of a lawyer helps prevent disputes when certain terms are misremembered or forgotten. That way, if one party believes the other has breached the employment agreement down the line, both can summon the physical document for reference.

Employment agreements commonly include provisions that cover the identification of the parties; effective date and length of the agreement; whether the employment is at-will; services to be performed by the employee; compensation, including salary, bonuses and equity awards; employee benefits; vacation and sick days; employment termination, including severance payments and change in control benefits; notices of actions; dispute resolution process; severability; and governing law.

Usually, California contract law governs the validity of the terms of an employment agreement, including those covering the rights of an employee. However, for employees who participate in certain retirement or welfare benefit plans, their accrual, vesting and funding rights are regulated by the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act. Federal Internal Revenue Service rules will govern tax payments made under an employment agreement. An employment contract lawyer in El Segundo can review your existing contracts and advise whether any updates are warranted in light of recent changes in state or federal laws.

Provisions That Protect Employers

Companies may wish to include provisions in employment contracts that protect employer interests, such as arbitration provisions, noncompete clauses, nondisclosure agreements, nonsolicitation agreements, and other restrictive covenants. However, employers in California should be aware of California Business and Professions Code section 16600, which voids contracts that restrict an employee’s capacity to engage in their profession, trade or business of any kind. Section 16600 has been used to invalidate employment contracts that stop an employee from working for a competitor unless the restraint is carefully limited and necessary to protect an employer’s actual trade secrets. An exception also exists for restraints that are narrowly drafted to restrict a small or limited aspect of the profession, trade or business.

Benefits for Executives

Executives may have the leverage to negotiate benefits beyond what ordinary employees receive under company policies. Executive benefits that may be negotiated and provided for in an employment contract could include relocation benefits, severance benefits, executive financial planning, a car allowance, tax equalization, and outplacement services in case of termination. An El Segundo employment contract lawyer can draft employment contracts for businesses seeking to hire or retain executives.

Termination of an Employment Contract

Employment contracts can be terminated due to firing, resignation, death, legal incapacity of an employee, or expiration of the employment contract’s term. In some cases, an employee may negotiate that she will not be fired except for “cause” or “good cause.” Some employment contracts include a provision for severance pay in the event an employee is terminated without cause. When an employment contract does not contain a term of employment, the contract can be terminated by either party at will with the exception that the termination can’t violate the law. Under California Labor Code section 2924, employment for a particular term can be terminated at any point by an employer if the employee perpetrates a willful breach of duty in the course of his employment or if he habitually neglects his duty or shows continued inability to do the job. Under California Labor Code section 2925, an employment for a particular term can be terminated by the employee at any time if the employer willfully or permanently breaches its obligations to the employee.

Consult an Employment Law Attorney in El Segundo

If you are an employer that needs guidance on drafting an employment contract, you should talk to a seasoned employment contract attorney in El Segundo at the Calderone Law Firm. We represent and counsel companies in El Segundo, Torrance and Los Angeles, as well as in Orange, San Bernardino, Riverside, and Ventura Counties. Please give us a call at (424) 348-8290 or complete our online form.