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Employers Should Understand California At-Will Employment Statute
How can employers in the state of California deal with tough employment laws? First, they need to understand what the rules are. Even though at-will employment in California is a simple idea, it is often misunderstood by both employers and employees.
Employers operating in California should understand California at-will employment. It's a simple idea, but one that's often misunderstood by employers and employees. At-will employment is a term applied to any employee who doesn't have a clearly defined contractual employment agreement. It means, essentially, than an employer can dismiss an employee at any time without cause. If you are dealing with a troubled (or troublemaking) employee, this can be a blessing because without having to deal with difficult employees can be wearing, both to the workplace and the employer. What is California at-will employment exactly? It's defined as any employment arrangement where there's no contract and either party - that is, the employee or employer - can terminate the employment any time with proper notice. California At Will Employment Can Be Tricky Knowing that your employees are at-will employees doesn't protect you from battling through a lawsuit or other attempt by a disgruntled employee to get their job back or receive monetary compensation. Experts suggest several methods to protect the company so there will be as few lawsuits or other legal maneuvers as possible by former employees. First, be sure that all employees who don't have a contract understand they are at-will employees. Some employment experts even suggest employers have new hires sign an agreement showing they understand this arrangement. Second, all California at-will employment is just that - at-will. It's important the agreement you have employees sign makes this clear. Unless there is a contract spelling out why and how an employee can be terminated, there is no agreement to that effect. You can let an employee go at any time. Third, educate your managers about California at-will employment. It's important they understand that at no time should they make any guarantees about employment to any employees. Many employers have managers sign agreements showing they understand at-will employment as well, though this isn't necessary. If you do have written employment agreements with any employees, make sure the terms of the agreement include their at-will status under the California at-will employment statutes. Also, make sure the agreement does not guarantee any future employment with the company. This is an important step as many employees think if they have an employment contract, they are also protected from at-will firings, and that's not the case. Make sure the employment agreement states this clearly. In any workplace environment, it is important for both the employer and the employee to understand the employer's rights. This is not only important in the daily workplace, but also if you must fire a bad employee. The employer's rights refers to less of what the law allows the employer to do, and more to what they should avoid doing. If you are a California employer and you know your rights, you will be able to avoid any legal disputes that may result from a disgruntled employee or someone you have fired.