Being a business owner in California means staying up-to-date on our ever-changing labor laws. Every new year brings a number of new laws that give California workers greater rights and benefits than people in most other states. This year is no exception.
Labor contracts have been the backbone of vital trust between employers and workers for a century or more. Protections vary by state, as many governments have different histories with different industries that require various levels of protection for both companies and employees. California has long prided itself on attracting some of the best talent in the country with the protections to match.
It often seems as if everyone in the U.S. suffers from anxiety about unfair treatment when entering into an agreement or contract with another party. In particular, professionals in the construction industry often experience an unexpected threat of litigation over something that may not be their fault.
A contractor promised work and never came through. A supervisor keeps making inappropriate comments and no one will do anything about it. It feels like the only option is to sue the responsible parties in California civil court. But then you find your contract requires you to rely on arbitration.
California became the largest and most successful economy in the United States with the resources to make nearly anything and labor pools with the right abilities. Labor disputes have shaped how employers treat employees at several times over the years, but strikes are not the only way to change this sort of history.
It's not easy to go to court over any issue. Contractors and other construction professionals often roll their eyes when injunctions and other legal instruments show up over a dispute because it means more time and money spent on something other than the project at hand.
From marriages to car purchases, people are always looking for the security of legal contracts. When parties back out of arrangements that have not yet been made official, there is little recourse except to learn a lesson and move on. When it comes to massive projects like building a skyscraper, contracts are usually signed before the work is even planned, adding a layer of protection for builders.
Contracts keep trade open and employment free by reducing the risks of doing business with or working for another person or company. All honest businesspeople enjoy the security of contracts and the ability to pursue justice if one is breached.
Employees of all sorts of enterprises in California find themselves agreeing to wide-ranging employment agreements, from injury waivers to nondisclosure orders. Most of these documents are designed to give employers the upper hand in the case of a claim, but many rights cannot be legally signed away even if that's what an employee wants.
Contracts are one of our best ways of cooperating across industries and jurisdictions. Most businesses and individuals like the system of contracts that keeps costs and risks down for large ventures. Fortunately, the system also comes with ways to resolve disputes.