Even though California workers have specific rights protected by state law, not all employers succeed at enforcing policies to protect those rights. Ongoing conflict may ensue when employees lack adequate support from their employers.

Employment contracts play a key role in defining expectations within an employer/employee relationship. They can provide a reference when concerns or conflicts arise.

Employment contract musts

A well-written employment contract addresses the foundational principles that will aid in building and strengthening a beneficial working arrangement. Employees should look for specific topics in the contract before signing it. Their understanding of the conditions and expectations of the relationship may enable them to recognize things like unfair treatment or delays of promised benefits.

According to Monster, topics including wages and benefits, termination policies, non-compete expectations and just cause provisions should all have their place in an employment contract. Employees may choose to negotiate within reason, to create optimal personal benefit from their relationship with their employer.

Employee rights and privileges

Employee rights according to The California Department of Industrial Relations, includes payment of minimum wage and the option of working overtime where applicable. Employees also have the right to benefits following a job-related injury, access to safe and functional equipment and gear, adequate breaks to eat and rest and the right to express concerns without receiving undue punishment.

While employee benefits may look different across employers and industries, the rights of employees are universal. Employers may use different methods for distributing employee benefits. They may also provide the opportunity for added privileges and incentives, but they cannot remove or withhold rights that employees are legally entitled to.