A Pasadena Employment Law Firm

Committed to Helping Workers

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(626) 380-9000

  • hands signing an employment agreement

    Over the past two years, we have followed the many bills that the California legislature has passed with the momentum of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements.  From last year’s omnibus sexual harassment bill (SB 1300), to the prohibition of confidentiality provisions in settlement agreements involving sexual harassment claims (SB 820), to the increase in time that employees would have to file claims under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (AB 9), these bills have been designed to increase protections for California workers.

    Assembly Bill 749 (“AB 749”), introduced by Assemblymembers Mark Stone, Lorena Gonzalez, and Eloise Reyes, is another #MeToo-inspired bill meant to protect employees. It tackles “no rehire” provisions that are frequently found in settlement agreements. Employees who settle their claims against their employers are often required to agree that they will never again work for the same employer or its related entities. Such provisions are punitive and can have a devastating impact on an employee, forcing some to leave their field or severely limiting their future employment prospects. The use of “no rehire” provisions often leads to the perverse outcome where victimized employees are forced out of their jobs while harassers continue to be employed.[1]

    AB 749, signed into law by Governor Newsom on October 12, 2019, prohibits and invalidates all provisions in settlement agreements that prevent workers from obtaining future employment with the settling employer or its affiliated companies. Through newly created Code of Civil Procedure section 1002.5, it makes such provisions in agreements entered into on or after January 1, 2020 void as a matter of law and against public policy. The bill is co-sponsored by the California Employment Lawyers Association and Equal Rights Advocates.

  • terminated employee

    If you work in California and are not a union member, chances are that your employment is “at will.” This means that your employer can terminate your employment at any time, with or without notice, for almost any reason they see fit. The key word here is “almost.” Even if your status is “at will,” an employer cannot discriminate against or terminate you for reasons that the law specifically prohibits.

    Is Your Employment “At Will?”

    In California, the presumption is that your employment is “at will.” This is reflected in Cal. Labor Code Section 2922: “An employment, having no specified term, may be terminated at the will of either party on notice to the other. Employment for a specified term means an employment for a period greater than one month.”

    The default of “at will” status can be altered through a contractual agreement. Most frequently, this happens when unions negotiate collective bargaining agreements on behalf of their members. Collective bargaining agreements usually provide job protections, including by requiring progressive discipline and “just cause” to terminate an employee.

    An individual employee can also enter into an employment contract for . . .

  • unsigned severance agreement

    Employers often offer severance payments to employees who are terminated or laid off. The payments usually come with strings attached; mainly, that employees must give up all rights to sue the employer for any claims that they may have. Employees may be required to sign lengthy severance agreements with complicated terms and conditions to receive their payment.

    If you are provided with a severance agreement, you must think carefully before signing it. You are well-advised to consult with an experienced employment lawyer to help make an informed decision. A lawyer can help you understand the legal rights you are giving up. They can explain [ . . . ]