The employer-employee relationship is governed by tort law, employment law, labor/wage law and contract law. Essentially, the creation of a legitimate employment relationship establishes a binding contract. A legally binding employment contract can be created when an employment relationship is created either orally or written, and such relationship can be either implied or expressed. One of the most essential and basic principles in employment law is the concept of freedom of contract, which illustrates the right of both employers and employees to enter in contracts that can either terminate will, or be subject to other agreed upon limitations. A contract is legally enforceable as long as legal strictures such as prohibitions against slavery and indentured servitude are upheld.
Are You Considered an Employee Under California Law?
Sometimes a person might seem as if they are an employee, but they could in fact be considered an independent contractor under California state law. This is because employment contracts can create additional relationships beyond the traditional employer-employee relationship. In fact, an employer can enter into an employment contract whereby they other party is considered an independent contractor or lease employer. Determining whether there is an employer-employee relationship requires a determination of whether the employer has the:
“right to control the manner and means of accomplishing the result desired. If the employer has the authority to exercise complete control, whether or not that right is exercised with respect to all details, an employer-employee relationship exists.”
Other factors to consider when determining the existence of an employer-employee relationship include:
- If the work is typically performed without supervision;
- If the work performed is typically associated with independent contractor status;
- If the worker utilizes her is his personal tools when performing work;
- If the job is performed over a short time period;
- If the worker has a special skill;
- If the worker is paid an hourly wage or salary;
- If the work performed is part of the business’s principal activities; and
- If it was the intent of the parties that the worker be considered an independent contractor or employee.
Employment Contract Breaches in LA
Typical employment contract disputes revolve around the belief that either an employer or employee has breached the employment contract. An employment contract is considered to be in “breach” when performance of the contract does not proceed according to the terms of the agreements. It is important to note than when an employment contract is modified by the employer and employee, it may seem as if a breach has occurred. However, such modifications could simply result in a non-breached contract that has new or additional terms and conditions to the employment relationship.
A major employment contract breach is when there is a non-legal excusable failure to perform any of the promises that were contained in the contract. A major breach is typically when the employee quits or is discharged by the employer. In Los Angeles, a breach will be considered major when the original employment contract is no longer salvageable because of actions of one party, which gives the other party the right to consider the contract ended. Like the name suggests, a minor breach is significantly less serious than a major breach and does not allow one party to consider that the employment contract has ended. Minor breaches are those actions that can be either forgiven or condoned by the injured party to the agreement.
Video on Employment Contracts with Attorney Daniel Kalish
Los Angeles, California Employment Attorneys: Assistance with All Employment Contract Disputes
Understanding your status as an employee or independent contractor is important in determining the relief you can access if your employment contract has been breached. This is because different forms and avenues of relief are available based on one’s employment status. The complicated issues involved in employment contract disputes are best left to legal professionals. Thus, you should contact the trained employment contract dispute attorneys here at HKM Employment Attorneys LLP for all of all of your employment contract dispute related legal issues.