California is one of the most employee-friendly states in the nation – as a San Diego employer, you need protection too! One way to do so is by establishing the terms and conditions of employment from the onset of the employment relationship. You can do this by having a well-drafted job offer letter signed by the newly hired employee. This is one of the most important and easiest steps you can take in protecting your business.
What is a Job Offer Letter?
As a San Diego employer, you should have a signed job offer letter for all W-2 employees. The job offer letter is a great opportunity to set the expectations of the employment relationship. With the terms of the employment relationship clearly set forth in writing; an employee cannot later say that the employer promised something other than what was placed in the offer of employment. Be sure the job offer letter is signed before the new hire starts the first day of work.
Every job offer letter should at least include the following:
Terms for salary and work hours
Terms of job duties
At-will employment clause
Benefit summary list (if applicable)
Why a Job Offer Letter is Important
Despite it being presumed that all employment is terminable at-will under California law, your job offer letters should clearly set forth that the employee is being hired as an at-will employee, and that employment may be terminated by either party with or without notice at any time. This is because improperly worded job offer letters can sometimes destroy at-will status. In many instances, employers through their own mistakes or inadvertence, can convert at-will employees into fixed-duration employees.
At DuFord Law, our employment law practice consists of providing assistance to both San Diego employer and employees. Because California employment law is frequently changing, it is important to have your job offer letters prepared or reviewed by a San Diego attorney. By having a San Diego attorney prepare and/or review your job offer letter, you can at least be apprised on changes in the law that may affect your business and policies.