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socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 37802
Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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I am a restaurant owner, I gave an job offer to the general

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I am a restaurant owner, I gave an job offer to the general manager, he accepted it. But after this, my restaurant construction cannot finish on time, so until now, we cannot give him a fixed starting date. Now I want to cancel this offer. He did come to our site, meet with us for around 10 times. Some of them are his own call. Now he email me said he will sue me for his time and we have a intention of breach contract.

What can I do?

If the agreement agreement that you signed with the manager had a fixed-future termination date, then the manager can sue you for lost wages. A simple example of an agreement with a fixed-future termination date would be something like:

  • In consideration for payment of $3,000 per month salary, Jon Doe agrees to act as the general manager of Joe's Diner, commencing Jan 1, 2013 and ending Dec 31, 2013.

In the above example, the fixed-futre termination date is Dec 31, 2013. However, if the agreement does not have a fixed-future termination date, then under Cal. Labor Code 2922, the manager's employment is "at will," which means that you can terminate the contract at any time, for any reason, or for no reason at all. And, that further means that if the manager sues, the court will dismiss the action as failing to state a claim for which relief may be granted.

Hope this helps.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
There is no fixed termination date. But he came to meet us serval times for help. Do I need to compensate him? But from my understanding, the contract does not even start, the intention for the meeting is help only.
If he came to meet you several times, and he assisted you with the start up for the restaurant, then he is entitled to be paid at least minimum wage for his time -- because the meetings were for the benefit of the employer. This includes at least two hours pay for each meeting, since he was hourly nonexempt prior to the commencement of his management contract. See IWC Order 5-2001 Section A.

Hope this helps.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you expert, I forgot to tell you, he also request his gas money and other fees, should I pay him? Do I need to send him a formal notice of cancellation? Or email expression is good enough?
Commuter miles between home and work is not compensible. If the employee drove from the place of employment to some other location as part of his employment, then that would be compensible for mileage. Otherwise, no compensation.

Re notice of termination, a letter by mail is sufficient, but you must put the check for the employee's time in with the notice. Otherwise, you could be subjected to "waiting time penalties" if the employee files a complaint with the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE).

Hope this helps.
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