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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 11679
Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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I am an employee for a company working from my home in California.

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I am an employee for a company working from my home in California. My company is HQ in Ohio. I have a California Employment contract that I executed in DEC 2007. I recently got a promotion Jan 2012, and my company is asking me to resignature and date a new California Employment contract, that has had NO revisions or changes made to it. They have not furnished me with a company written policy that requires the exectution of a new contract upon promotion. I would simply be redating the agreement. What effect can this redating of the agreement have on my employment rights in CA? Will it negatively effect me if I were terminated or left the company on my own will? I am a highly compensated salary employee.
Hello and thank you for entrusting me to answer your question. Does your previous employment contract guarantee employment for a specified duration? (i.e. "A 3 year contract with X Corp)
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

no, there is no duration in the contract. It is an At Will agreement. Specifically the clause on the employment period states:

 

18.

Effective Period. This Agreement will be in effect

during my employment and will survive and continue in effect after my employment ends for any reason for the

period of time I continue to have obligations under this

Agreement.

 

 

Thank you very much for clarifying.

The reason why I asked that question was because, absent an agreement guaranteeing employment for a specified duration, an employer retains the freedom to require employees to sign new employment agreements at any time. This tremendous freedom stems from Labor Code section 2922, which provides that employment in the state of California is "at will," absent an agreement to the contrary. Courts have interpreted this to mean that, since an employer retains discretion to terminate employees for no reason, he or she also retains the authority to dictate the terms of employment and change them for any reason or no reason and at any time.

Unless a new employment contract forces an employee to agree to something that constitutes a violation of public policy (e.g., waiving the right to make an overtime claim) or state/federal law (e.g., waiving the right to compensation for work already performed at a specified rate of pay), an employer retains the freedom to terminate an employee for failing to sign such agreement pursuant to Labor Code section 2922, as cited above.

So, even if the agreement did contain different terms from the one previously signed, an employee in this circumstance would still likely be required to sign it if they wished to remain employed and receive prospective pay increases and bonuses.

If the terms are identical to those terms already agreed upon, resigning the agreement would not typically have any impact on the rights and obligations of the parties.

I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX this information helps you and I wish you the best.

My greatest concern is that you are satisfied with the answer I provide, so please do not hesitate to contact me with follow-up questions. Although I cannot always provide good news, I hope that my answer gives you a better understanding of the law and your rights so that you can obtain the best possible result under the circumstances. Also, please bear in mind that experts are not credited for unaccepted answers, so I greatly appreciate you taking the time to "accept" my answer and leave positive feedback.

Finally, none of the above constitutes legal advice nor is any attorney client relationship created between us.
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