California employment contracts can contain a lot of complex information, and some of the most important details are hidden in the fine print. Before you sign, it’s a good idea to have your employment agreement thoroughly reviewed by an experienced employment attorney. He or she will be able to explain the terms of your contract, identify points of concern and negotiate for a better agreement with your employer. Take some time to learn more about why a California employment attorney should be consulted before finalizing any new hire paperwork.
Understanding the Terms of Your Employment Contract
A written employment contract may contain any number of provisions or clauses that should be examined closely before signing. A California labor law attorney will carefully review the conditions of your employment agreement to ensure your rights and interests are protected. A few important contract terms and clauses that you may see include:
Non-Compete Agreement: This term prohibits you from working for a competitor while employed or for a pre-set time frame after leaving the company. In California, non-compete agreements are not considered valid after an employee terminates his or her employment.
Forced Arbitration or Mediation: Forced arbitration prevents you from filing a lawsuit against your employer. Instead, you would have to use other means like arbitration and mediation. In 2019, California passed legislation to prevent the majority of employers from resolving claims through arbitration instead of through the court of law.
Non-Disclosure Agreement: An NDA is a common term of an employment contract that protects sensitive company information from being shared with others. California laws allow for NDA agreements that are clearly defined to prevent private company information such as trade secrets from being shared with a third party.
Salary and Benefits Sections: An employment attorney will go over the details of your salary and benefits with you as stated in the contract. This will include details about profit sharing, your retirement account, stock options, and health insurance. Terms regarding severance pay should also be contained in the contract. The contract should also clearly state if termination of employment is "at-will" or must be based on just cause. A comprehensive employment agreement should cover all these areas to ensure there is no room for misinterpretation.
Negotiating the Terms of your Contract
An employment attorney can provide valuable insights into how to negotiate for more agreeable terms on your employment agreement. Experienced employment law attorneys know how to challenge unfair provisions in the contract like non-compete agreements, forced arbitration, and other clauses that may negatively affect your employment. It may also be recommended to redefine the job description or scope of work laid out in the contract to prevent any disagreements in the future.
Before you sign a contract with your new employer or renew your current contract, let our California employment law team at Davtyan Law go over the details with you. Our associates are dedicated to protecting the rights of workers in California. We will ensure that you’re fully informed about the contents of your employment contract, help negotiate for better terms and answer your questions along the way. Call us today to schedule a consultation.