Employees are not always given the fairest treatment by their companies and employers. There are many situations in which workers are mistreated or when employers try to cheat them out of what they deserve. A breach of contract is one such scenario. Some employers will even go so far as to change the terms of the contract without you knowing or consenting and will forge your signature. If your employer breaches your contract of employment or any of its terms, you should take appropriate legal action. Our team of employment lawyers at the California Labor Law Employment Attorneys Group can assist you with your claim and see to it that you are fairly compensated for any losses.
Employment Laws in California
California is a state of at-will employment. This means that employers do not have to give any specific reason to fire their workers. The reason must simply not be discriminatory in nature. By the same token, though, workers do not need to give notice to their employers that they are quitting.
If you signed a contract in California, you likely signed an at-will contract. However, there may be clauses and terms that provide other perks or causes for termination. You should review these terms carefully. If you find yourself suddenly paid less or fired after an incident, it may not have been a part of your contract, and you could fight back.
Employment Contract Information
Contracts are generally violated in a few ways. You may find that your contract has been violated due to the following:
- Getting fired or laid off for reasons that were not specified in the contract, such as for not adhering to a dress code or for using equipment that you brought yourself to the job site
- Getting fired before the term or duration of the contract has ended, as in cases where the employer does not want to pay the full amount and would leave a job half-completed to pay someone else less to finish it
- Not receiving the full wages that were contractually written or agreed-upon, in scenarios where you charged an up-front rate or were supposed to be paid on an hourly basis
- Not receiving the benefits or coverage that was agreed-upon in the contract, such as temporary insurance
- Being subjected to a change of work location, such as being moved to another city
There are usually three types of contracts that can arise in the workplace. Each one can breached in some manner, but each one is also more difficult to prove was violated. It is important to understand what kind of contract you signed or was presented to you at the workplace. You should also bear in mind that if no contract were signed, you may be off the hook for many duties and responsibilities. Often, workers will simply walk if they are not treated well without a contract, and the employer will have his hands tied.
The first type of contract is a written contract. This is drawn up by someone at the company or by you to outline your terms of employment. It is rare for written contracts to be used in California for full-time W2 employees. Regardless, the contracts often outline the period or duration of employment, the rate of pay or wages, the responsibilities of both the worker and the employer, severance or benefits packages, yearly or quarterly bonuses, and more.
The second type of contract is an implied contract. It primarily uses the situation as a way to justify the presence of a contract, namely with circumstances that pertain to the control the employer has over the worker. If you receive some kind of fringe benefits, are susceptible to specific disciplinary policies, or have a duration of employment, you are likely under an implied contract.
The third type of contract is an oral contract. This is a verbal agreement between you and your employer. It can be very difficult to uphold the ends of this contract, as the only evidence of it will be two people’s words against one another. If the oral contract were not recorded or made in the presence of others, there will be no way to truly know the terms of the agreement. It is therefore the most easily and commonly breached contract, and also the hardest to litigate.
To accurately determine the type of contract you are under and to figure out if it was breached by your employer, you should contact our law firm for more assistance.
Suing for a Breach of Contract
To sue for a breach of contract, you will need to gather as much evidence as possible that support your claim. This evidence can come in various forms and should be gathered quickly. If you move too slowly, it is possible that your employer will destroy it or remove it so as not to be incriminated.
Firstly, you will need the contract if it’s available. If it’s a written contact, make copies of it. If it’s an implied contract, you may need verification from the employer that exists. Oral contracts may be submitted if there are audio recording of it or if you can get the employer to agree that he gave you certain terms at the beginning of the employment.
You will then need to get statements from other individuals at your job. Coworker testimonies can be extremely important in such cases; you may need the extra perspectives to prove that your employer breached your contract. However, this evidence is very difficult to acquire, as your coworkers may be reluctant to give it. If they speak out against your employer, they may be retaliated against, face punishment, or even be terminated themselves. They may not want to risk losing theirs, so they could be quiet when it comes to providing you with this proof.
You should then provide the evidence that your contract was breached. This can include the lack of pay, messages detailing assignments, discussions with your employer, a refusal to provide coverage, and more. Evidence of your termination can also be presented if it is in direct opposition with your contract.
You should then seek out a lawyer with experience in breach of contract lawsuits. If you have not taken any legal action before, this entire area would be completely new and foreign to you. Therefore, you would have little to no knowledge of how to proceed, and your claim may very likely be thrown out before it is even seriously considered. Our attorneys can work around the clock to negotiate a fair deal and make sure that your employer is held completely accountable for the breach of contract.
Deadline to File a Breach of Contract Lawsuit
The statute of limitations is the time frame in which you can sue for damages resulting from the breach of contract. This allows both parties ample time to gather proof and to defend themselves. It is important that you file a claim quickly so your evidence is fully intact and not lost or forgotten. California is more lenient than other states are when it comes to the statute of limitations.
A breach of oral contract lawsuit must be filed within 2 years of the occurrence. However, you have 4 years to file a claim if there was a breach of a written contract. This is an ample amount of time, but you should still act quickly and pursue legal representation to ensure accuracy and success in your claim.
Compensation from a Breach of Contract Lawsuit
A breach of contract can result in you essentially losing your job. Therefore, it is only right that you pursue ample compensation and damages from your employer. You may be able to receive coverage and reimbursement for the following:
- Lost benefits
- Missed income
- Missed bonuses
- Punitive damages
- Pain and suffering damages
You can contact our lawyers to learn more about the potential value of your case.
How We Help
The California Labor Law Employment Attorneys Group is one of the premier law firms in Los Angeles. We have a long history of success with employment claims and we have recovered over $100 million for our clients. We know how to best maneuver the world of employment law and there are none better at what we do. Our lawyers are well known for their aggressive tactics and tendency to never give up, and we are always willing to fight for your rights in court.
To receive a free legal consultation to discuss your claim, contact us today. All consultations are totally confidential and you can reach us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. If you have any questions, queries, or concerns, we’ll gladly answer them. If you want us to represent you, we will also give you our zero fee guarantee, a promise that you will not pay any money for our services from start to finish. Your employer will cover the costs of the case if we win, and if we lose, we do not receive any payment.
Reach out to the California Labor Law Employment Attorneys Group today if you need to sue your employer for a breach of contract.