Breach of Employment Agreements
Most California employees work under oral agreements or contracts that are considered “at will,” meaning that their employers may fire them at any time for any reason. The reason, however, may not be for a discriminatory purpose such as race, gender, religion, national origin, age, marital status, sexual orientation or disability.
Written or Oral Agreements
Otherwise, if you are working under a written employment contract or even an oral or implied one in many circumstances, you and your employer are bound by its written or implied provisions regarding grounds for dismissal. For example, your contract might contain provisions warranting your dismissal for financial malfeasance or other unlawful conduct. Many contracts will require that you meet certain sales or performance goals or else face demotion or termination.
If your contract is oral, there may be implied provisions based on oral promises made your employer or found on company memos, handbooks or established practices. Should your employer have fired you though you met all your employer’s standards and conditions or for applying a standard considered unreasonable, you may have a claim.
If you feel you have been unjustly fired or your employer has breached your employment contract, contact the California breach of employment attorneys at The Law Offices of Alex G. Tovarian.
Examples of Breach of Employment Agreement
There are a number of examples of employment contract breaches:
- Unreasonable interpretation of a contract provision
- Requiring you to perform illegal activities
- Violation of a severance agreement
- Wrongful termination
- Unenforceable non-compete provisions
- Violation of an oral promise that you relied upon
- Violation of a term contained in the employee manual, offer letter, memos or other written documents
- Failure to promote though you exceeded all performance goals and standard
- No “good cause”
A written contract may provide the reasons for dismissal while an implied one may rely on company memos, policy provisions or past practices.
Although union workers are not as common as they were in past decades, California does have some strong unions. Any union employee works under a written contract that has been negotiated by the union representatives.
In these cases, however, the union employee must first seek and exhaust his or her administrative remedies before pursuing a civil case in state court. These administrative procedures include filing a grievance, undergoing an investigation and possibly participating in an arbitration.
Damages for Breach of Contract
As an aggrieved employee, you have the right in California to sue for certain damages. If you have been dismissed, however, you do have a make a good faith or reasonable effort to secure other employment. If you do find employment, your claim can be for the wages you would have received at your old job minus what you are earning at your current job. These include the benefits you had at your old job that your new job is not providing.
If you are unable to find suitable employment after a reasonable time, you could sue for the wages and benefits you would have received had you remained in your old job.
You may not recover for pain and suffering or for emotional distress.
Retain The Law Offices of Alex G. Tovarian
Breach of employment contracts or agreements, whether written, oral or implied, involve complex issues of California law. Call the attorneys at The Law Office of Alex G. Tovarian today for a free, initial confidential consultation. We have the experience, resources and knowledge to handle breach of employment contract agreement cases.