NAIL IT DOWN « Law Offices of Timothy Bowles | Top Employment Law Firm in Los Angeles


Employment Agreements Should Be in Writing

In the absence of a writing or factors showing otherwise, California and most other states presume employment relationships are “at-will.”  The at-will employee or employer may terminate the relationship at any time, with or without advance notice, and for any lawful reason or no reason.

The opposite – and common for high-compensation executives – is a “term” employment agreement for a definite time period on which the parties can only terminate early for a “good” or “just” cause.

Either way, best practice is to have the arrangement in writing, leaving no room for disputes over what one side might have “promised” or implied in a verbal, unwritten relationship.

Whether at-will or not, a written employment contract can and should make clear vital points including compensation,  use and return of company property, confidentiality/nondisclosure obligations, and employer ownership of employee-generated material created in the course of employment.

Best practices also include upfront invention assignment agreements for employees involved in creating or updating unique technology. Such agreements should clearly distinguish between employer- and employee-owned inventions, along with other pertinent information.

California requires written, signed commission agreements between an employer and salesperson.
Employer-employee arbitration agreements should also be in writing, with the terms carefully stated to comply with current – and fluctuating – state and federal law.

TAKE-AWAY:  Written workplace agreements are the best policy, with qualified employment attorneys enlisted to create and regularly update their contents.

See also:

For further information, please contact Tim BowlesCindy Bamforth or Helena Kobrin.

Helena Kobrin
March 25, 2022

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